Did you mother frequently tell you that you couldn't make a living playing video games? She may have been wrong. Game artists and designers create the two and three-dimensional effects that make gaming so realistic. With a degree in
gaming art, you can even get paid for it.
Types of game art and design degrees
Degrees for game designers and game artists are relatively new and not every university offers such a program. However, there are a variety of different degrees available across the United States in gaming art and design. You can even enroll in an online degree program. Such degrees include:
- Associate degree -- A two-year program offered by community colleges and art & design schools
- Bachelors degree -- A four-year degree program, offered by universities
- Masters degree -- A graduate degree program that usually takes two to three years to complete
- Doctorate degree (PhD) -- The highest degree available in gaming art, this degree program involves and individualized course of study that culminates in defending a thesis.
Game art and design admission requirements
Virtually all game design schools require applicants to have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent. Masters degree candidates must first earn a bachelors degree; doctoral degree candidates must first earn a masters degree.
Careers available to those with a game art and design degree
Those with a degree in gaming art and design can work directly with game companies, developing games, testing games, drawing characters and getting involved in all facets of creating a video or online game. Game artists can also work as freelancers or outside contractors, working on single projects or working for smaller companies on an "as needed" basis.
Salary and job prospects for game art and design degree holders
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average multi-media artist and animator (aka game designer) makes $58,510 per year. This figure can vary considerably depending on what part of the country you work in, your position and your experience. According to the International Game Developer's Association, the highest paid game artists make around $200,000 per year.
The need for game artists and designers is growing by approximately eight percent, according to the BLS. They estimate there will be approximately 5,500 new video game design jobs created between now and the end of the decade.
Playing video games doesn't have to be something you do when you get home from work. With a degree in video art and design, you can work on games all day and help to create the next, hot game.