★ Please share this salary spreadsheet as widely as you can! The more data it accumulates, the more accurate and useful it is. ★
In February 2019, I set up a Google Form and Google Spreadsheet to track anonymised game dev salaries in the UK. British indie games isn’t centralised and we don’t have standardised wage expectations. A self-populated communal spreadsheet is the best solution I’ve come up with to give a general picture of what jobs tend to pay – and there’s a lot of variation.
Below are the average mean salaries the ~700 entries come up with. Please note these numbers are really rough as they don’t take into consideration regional variance, years’ experience or benefits. For a more accurate idea of how your salary compares to others’, search the ‘Salaries’ tab!
- Senior producer – £49,833
- Producer – £30,196
- Junior producer – £24,005
- Senior 2D artist – £37,500
- 2D artist – £20,545
- Junior 2D artist – £18,000
- Senior 3D artist – £36,268
- 3D artist – £27,500
- Junior 3D artist – £18,930
- Senior technical artist – £46,613
- Technical artist – £35,393
- Junior technical artist – £27,500
- VFX artist – £30,080
- Junior VFX artist – £26,000
- Senior game designer – £37,906
- Game designer – £32,876
- Junior game designer – £22,250
- Senior UI/UX designer – £43,600
- UI/UX designer – £44,200
- Junior UI/UX designer – £23,750
- Senior writer – £36,500
- Writer – £26,500
- Senior coder – £51,785
- Coder – £36,672
- Junior coder – £22,239
- Senior sound designer – £40,000
- Sound designer – £27,000
- Junior sound designer – £21,000
- Senior QA – £23,789
- QA – £21,099
- Senior marketer – £42,678
- Marketer – £34,600
- Junior marketer – £33,000
There aren’t many surprises here. Production, code and technical disciplines (like technical artists or UI/UX designers) are the best paying jobs in games, with 2D/3D art and QA at the bottom. So far, old news. But these numbers also offer two new things:
One, they give a general value baseline against which you can measure your own salary. It’d be great if this reduced the chance of devs being underpaid because they don’t know their job’s worth.
Two, they give an idea of likely salary expectations for people considering games. We’ve long known that rich coders work in FinTech, but an aspiring 2D artist couldn’t guess how much they’d be making ten years into the job. Perhaps this data will help inform those creativity vs. financial security decisions.
If the numbers above look hinky to you, please add your past and current salaries to the Google Form to make them more accurate. I’m the only person who has editing rights on the sheet, and the Google Form doesn’t give me any more information than what you see on the public spreadsheet.
It’s worth comparing a job’s average salary with the specific data points in the spreadsheet. Even discounting regional wage difference, there’s a huge amount of salary variance across the same job. Some developers seem to have generous salaries; others are paid peanuts. Careful who you work for!
You’ll notice that there aren’t average salaries for more meta jobs like CEOs, managers or team leads. There was such variance in job titles, duties, size of studio and money that you just can’t meaningfully compare those salaries with one another.
I attempted a comparison of male versus female average mean salaries per discipline, but the data pool is too limited. The result is more misleading than useful. If the spreadsheet grows significantly, I’ll revisit to see if we can come up with useful gender pay comparisons.
I also attempted a regional wage comparison per discipline, but it also failed because of the small number of relevant data points. As above, I’ll revisit this if the spreadsheet grows.