A video game tester salary is nearly always worked out as an hourly rate.
This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of an hourly rate is that it is usually quite high and if the particular job takes a long time to complete, you’ll be making a lot of money.
The disadvantage to this is that you will only be paid when jobs come up and sometimes you might be waiting a few weeks or months between jobs.
So if job security is more important to you, then you might need to re-think whether you want a job as a game tester.
How Much An Hour Will You Earn?
First of all you need to be realistic. When you first start applying to companies for tester jobs, you won’t be offered anywhere near the $100+ an hour rate. A more likely fee would be $10 – $20 an hour.
There are many websites suggesting you can easily earn $100+ an hour. This may be true for established game testers but it will take you many months and possibly years to command such a rate.
The secret to doing well in this industry is persistence and professionalism.
What I mean by this is you must apply for as many game testing jobs as you possibly can and continue to apply even if you get rejected at the first hurdle.
Eventually you will be offered a job. Even if the pay is a low hourly rate, it is essential you complete the task quickly and to a very high standard. That way you are more likely to be offered further work in the future.
Your reputation will grow over time and you will be known as a trusted and reputable game tester. And as such you will be offered a better rate of pay.
If you are prepared to do the hard work at the beginning it is not unrealistic to be earning around $50 an hour after 4 or 5 assignments.
The big money will come when you start to develop other areas within the gaming industry such as computer programming and graphic design.
You may not have the qualifications for these types of jobs right now, but there’s no reason why you can’t ask the various gaming companies what skills they are after and what type of qualifications are best recognized.
That way you can work towards a particular skill like programming which would enhance your personal profile and lead to better paid jobs.