How to Become a Multimedia Programmer

How to Become a Multimedia Programmer: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a Multimedia Programmer, you first need to determine if this career path is well suited to your skills and interests. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a Multimedia Programmer:


• Do you enjoy working with computer languages?

• Do you have creative skills and programming skills?

• Do you enjoy working out the logic steps for computers to perform desired tasks?

• Do you have a high degree of patience and focus when working?

• Are you interested in using sound, text, graphics, animation and videos to communicate ideas?

• Are you able to mentally construct and communicate multimedia ideas?

• Do you enjoy the idea of working closely with other multimedia professionals?


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a Multimedia Programmer. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Multimedia Programmer

If you want to become a multimedia programmer, you will likely need an undergraduate degree in computer science, or a closely related field such as software engineering or mathematics.


There are also a number of specialist multimedia programs and courses you can pursue if you have a degree in a field that is not related to computer science and you want to become a multimedia programmer.


Specialized multimedia programs and courses will likely provide you with the technical skills necessary to become qualified for jobs with organizations that do not require candidates to have a relevant bachelor’s degree.


Whichever educational route you choose, coursework that will qualify you to work as a Multimedia Programmer may include graphic design, 3-D design, illustration, multimedia technology, software engineering, web design and computer programming.


Applicants for Multimedia Programmer jobs may qualify without formal education if the have substantial technical experience and knowledge. Generally though, the more education and experience you have, the more appealing you are to a prospective employer.




Multimedia Programmer Job Description

Multimedia programmers provide functionality to multimedia products by writing computer programs that combine multimedia features such as text, sound, graphics, digital photography, animation, video as well as 2D/3D modeling. 


Multimedia programmers must work to ensure that the product is both attractive and user friendly. Most of their work focuses on designing and writing computer codes, testing codes and fixing bugs. Multimedia products may be designed for various platforms, such as video game consoles, mobile phones, computers, information kiosks and television.



Multimedia Programmer Job Duties

• Work with designers and other creative specialists to understand the design concept of the proposed multimedia project

• Advise clients and project team members as to how the concept can be properly implemented

• Produce the feature correctly by sorting out operational logic and any applicable business constraints

• Create databases and link them to the user interface so that information can easily be retrieved

• Write HTML or similar input and using authoring packages where appropriate to create content and effects

• Conduct testing of the application in order to identify bugs and glitches

• Solve problems that are identified during testing by re-writing code or adding new coding that works around the problem

• Maintain current industry knowledge

• Learn new programming languages and technologies





Who Creates Jobs for Multimedia Programmers?

Multimedia programmers are hired on a part-time, full-time and contractual basis by many different types of small, medium and large organizations, such as:


• Independent production companies

• Support service companies, such as post-production and special effects for the creative industries

• Broadcasting companies

• Marketing and advertising agencies

• DVD authoring companies

• Video game developers and publishers

• Colleges and universities

• E-learning suppliers

• Specialist multimedia and web software houses

• Internet service providers (ISPs) and web hosting services

• Interactive design agencies

• Large organizations with in-house websites, new media or multimedia departments

• Banks and financial institutions

• Retailers

• IT consulting companies




Skills Needed to Become a Multimedia Programmer

In order to become effective in a career as a multimedia programmer, you need to posses a certain set of technical skills, ‘soft’ skills, and personality traits. These skills and traits will help you perform your job duties with competence, and help you remain enthusiastic about your work.


Personal Characteristics


• Strong interest in computers and information technology

• Enjoy solving problems and exercising logical thinking

• Enjoy working on a project from start to finish

• Willing to learn and continuously develop knowledge in a rapidly changing industry


Soft Skills


• Able to work with other experts, including artists, graphic designers and sound engineers

• Able to exchange ideas using strong interpersonal and communication skills

• Able to prioritize work properly and manage time effectively

• Able to work well under pressure

• Able to closely follow the instructions of others, such as the Creative Director


Hard Skills


• An understanding of layout, design and graphics

• The ability to mentally develop and communicate multimedia ideas

• Knowledge of Internet programming languages and applications

• The ability to incorporate elements of different media into a complete presentation

• Interactive design skills, such as user/task analysis and interface design/evaluation

• Programming skills, such as authoring, engineering and quality testing



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Multimedia Programmer Salary

The salary level of multimedia programmers can vary depending on factors such as their level of experience, the size and type of their employer, the specific responsibilities of their job, and many others.


Multimedia Programmer Salary Alberta: Albertans working in the Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers occupational group earn an average of between $27.52 and $45.98 per hour, according to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey.


Multimedia Programmer Salary Canada: Canadian workers in the Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers occupational group earn an average salary of $53,589 per year.


Multimedia Programmer Salary United States: American workers in the Computer Programmers occupational group earn a median salary level of $74,380 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. 



Careers Similar to Multimedia Programmer

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Multimedia Programmer, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities:


Computer Programmer

Flash Programmer

Graphic Designer

Java Developer

Video Game Developer




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a multimedia programmer.


Occupations in Alberta:Interactive Media Programmer.” (March 3, 2016). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

Computer and Information Technology:Computer and Information Technology.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved January 4, 2020.


Please Note: Some of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.




Scholarships for Becoming a Multimedia Programmer

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Multimedia Programmer can be found on our Computer Science Scholarships and Software Engineering Scholarships page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Multimedia Programmer: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a Multimedia Programmer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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