They say to be successful; you should do something you love. If you love playing video games, the job of a video game tester may be for you. It can be a high paying career, better than what many doctors and lawyers make. If you have the right stuff, maybe you can do it too.
First, take a look at your lifestyle. How much time do you devote to playing games? If you are the type of person who measures their game play in hours per month or hours per week, you may not have what it takes.
Remember, as an employee, you'll be expected to work 8 hours a day, generally from 9 to 5. Can you see yourself playing computer games eight hours a day? If not, this is definitely not your dream job.
Let's talk about your game play. Are you an explorer? Do you try to race through to the end or do you try every possible combination. Have you tried playing every different character? Do you dream up different scenarios to try? Do you look in every nook and cranny? This is what makes the best game testers.
Your job as a game player may be to play one section of a game over and over again. Here is a good example. Let's say your task is to play a race car game. You might be assigned to play the same track over and over again with every different vehicle combination. What I mean here is your first setting may be with all attributes like braking, acceleration and cornering ability all set at the minimum. You will then run the test on this car. You might need to run the car as fast a possible, or crash into other drivers any other idea you can come up with.
The next test will be to move one attribute to the next level ie. Set braking to 2 out of 10 and leave the other attributes at 1. After each test, you have to write a written summary of what you found. If this sounds like a fun way to spend the day, then the job of game testing may be for you.
So what type of money can you make as a game tester? That's very hard to answer. Your first jobs wont be much. You might be paid hourly or a lump sum. Like most careers, you need to start at the bottom. Keep in mind there are no age limits or even educational requirements for this job other than to be able to type reports on your impressions of the game. Initially the video game developers don't know you. Are they wasting their time and money only to find out that you can't meet deadlines? This is why you have to take some low paying gigs in the beginning. You will be building your resume as well as your reputation.
Once you have an established reputation, the number of jobs offers you get will increase. Eventually you will get to test a game for one of the big companies like Sony, Nintendo or EA. That's where the big money starts. A professional video game tester can expect to earn over $60,000 per year. Generally speaking it will take you about 5 to 6 years to get to this level.
So how do you get started. That's the easy part. Just ask someone you know at a video game company to get you in the door. You don't know anyone who works at a video game developer? Then you'll need a little help.