Making a living by being a gamer isn’t limited to playing DoTA 2 or League of Legends. In fact, jobs in the industry just keep increasing as video gaming continues to grow.
It all depends on what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. You may be a good writer covering esports and creating online sports betting reviews. Or you could be a YouTube streamer with a huge following raking in cash by the minute.
There are countless jobs gamers can choose from. But there are mainly three avenues to pursue when choosing a career path in gaming.
Your options for making a living as a gamer – outside of the big leagues
There are three main paths you can pick from when starting out – or restarting into a career of gaming. The main differences between the three isn’t just the skill level or the niche, but the working style.
Get a career in the game industry
Let’s get the most obvious and cut-and-dry way to make a living out of being gamer: to get into the industry. You’ve got a bevy of options and regardless of what your skills are, you’ll find a niche somewhere.
Popular jobs change gradually just like the industry. But there will always be positions for game designers, software engineers, product managers, and video game testers just to name a few.
You also don’t need to be that tech savvy to get a career in the industry. Jobs in marketing, writing, and sales are needed in any gaming company.
There are a plethora of jobs in the gaming industry. But there are also a lot of people competing for jobs and it can be difficult to get in. The best thing you can do is to identify what you’re good at, scout the demand, and go all-in.
- Plenty of fields to choose from
- A steady income and job security
- Regular days off and weekends
- There is structure and some room for growth in most fields
- A bit restrictive on what you can and can’t do
- Can become repetitive depending on the job
- Little room for growth in some fields
Become a content creator
The B-side to getting a job in the game industry is to become a content creator. If you just woke up from a coma of from 10 years ago, you may be a bit shocked that video streamers (and memes) have taken over the Internet,
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Being a content creator is fun, fulfilling, and frustrating all rolled into one. On the surface it appears like it isn’t a “real job” but the amount of time and effort content creators put in may make you cry.
As a content creator, you are your own boss. And while you have all the freedom in the world, you also won’t have the safety net of a steady income or a structured working environment.
And just like there are numerous fields to pick from if working a 9-5 job in industry, there are many types of content you can specialize in.
You can create your own blog and write articles. You can review video games and post them on YouTube or your site. And you can be a live streamer. Or you can do all of these and more. The options are limited by your imagination.
There is a bit of trial-and-error here and things will be tough at the beginning. You can’t expect to make money quickly so you’ll need another source of income.
- No barriers to entry – can do it right away
- Be your own boss: create what you want at your own time
- Can generate plenty of income, including passive income
- Potentially the most fulfilling if successful
- Extremely competitive – countless content creators around
- Income can be difficult to come by for a while
- Can become tiring – burnout
Freelance: do a bit of both
Why not both? There is a happy medium between being an Employee of the Year for Ubisoft or becoming a YouTube sensation. Freelancing.
This is when you take jobs on a contractual basis. Maybe you’ll work as a game developer on a six-month term for a mobile game or maybe you’ll take writing gigs or video-making jobs on a per-project pay.
You may even do it under the table and bet on eSports or play casino games and make money there. The point is, you don’t need to be limited between having a “normal day job” or being a content creator.
In fact, over 57 million Americans are reportedly part of this gig economy. And this was in 2018. The numbers are probably higher now.
To successfully become a gig worker or a freelancer, you will need to specialize in a skillset that is in-demand. The more in-demand your skill is, the easier you’ll find jobs.
- You get to pick your own projects and if you’re really good, the projects will come to you
- Work from home potential – work whenever and wherever
- Plenty of versatility; more room to negotiate terms and conditions
- Can pay more per hour than a permanent job
- Can be tough to land gigs depending on the field
- Income can fluctuate and you’ll need to do your own invoicing
- Potentially working around the clock, including weekends