Graduate earnings also on the rise as studios compete for top talent

Programmer salary rises outpacing all other game dev roles

Salaries for programmers are increasing at a larger rate than any other role in game development, according to TIGA’s latest salary survey.

The report took details from 2,671 creative and specialist staff and 562 support roles from ten organisations across the UK. It noted that those with technical development and programming roles saw the largest median base salary increase of 3.7 per cent. This was down from 4.2 per cent in 2013.

Salary increases in all other job functions meanwhile ranged from 2.7 per cent to a high of three per cent.

Overall the UK game industry median base salary increase was three per cent during 2014, down from 3.4 per cent in 2013. TIGA said this was roughly in line with the nation average of 3.1 per cent.

Graduate salaries rose by 4.3 per cent, compared to four per cent in 2013, highlighting increased competition amongst studios for talented developers just coming out of education.

Average voluntary employee turnover was said to have fallen 11 per cent last year, compared to 14.5 per cent the year prior, whilst the number of staff leaving to join a rival employer also dropped to 6.5 per cent, significantly down from 11.2 per cent in 2013.

TIGA’s report also looked at the number of game industry professionals that have come from abroad. It found that 80.7 per cent were UK nationals, 15 per cent of staff were from other European countries and 2.6 per cent were from the Asia-Pacific region.

Those brought in from other countries taking up technical development or programming roles were said to earn an average of 25 per cent more than British staff recruited from within the UK. TIGA noted this likely meant that UK studios are looking overseas to find specialist staff for highly-skilled jobs.

TIGA’s salary survey was conducted in partnership with HR firm Aon Hewitt.

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