How to Become a Video Game Audio Programmer

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How to Become a Video Game Audio Programmer: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a video game audio 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 video game audio programmer:

 

• Working in video game development appeals to you

• You have programming expertise

• You are interested in the principles of sound and audio manipulation

• You can grasp complex audio and mathematical concepts

• You have a high degree of focus when working

• You have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field

• You have expertise working with digital signal processing technology

• You are proficient in the use of middleware audio APIs like Miles, FMOD, or Wwise

 

Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a video game audio 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 Video Game Audio Programmer

Many employers prefer to hire candidates for Video Game Audio Programmer jobs that have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science, software engineering, or a specialized field such as video game development.

 

Pursuing coursework in audio engineering and music production will also help provide you with the necessary skill set if you want to become a video game audio programmer.

 

 

 

Video Game Audio Programmer Job Description

Video game audio programmers are responsible for using an audio application programming interface to develop tools used to integrate sound into a video game. They use the audio application programming interface to write code that manipulates and triggers audio cues for the game, such as sound effects and background music. 

 

Video game audio programmers are not responsible for creating sound effects or producing the score, they are responsible for implementing the audio assets into the game. 

 

 

Video Game Audio Programmer Job Duties

• Implement game coding under the direction of the Technical Manager or Audio Lead

• Maintain current knowledge of audio programming techniques

• Design and maintain scripting tools for sound designers to use

• Test and debug code, and provide technical support for the audio tools

• Work with state of the art audio software and hardware

• Ensure that the audio and music systems within the games are a key part of the overall player experience

• Take direction from the Audio Lead, or Lead Sound Designer 

• Liaise with other programmers and game designers

• May help identify the future technological direction of audio processes within an organization

 

 

Who Creates Jobs for Video Game Audio Programmers?

Small and large video game development companies, known as game development studios, hire video game audio programmers on a part-time, full-time and contractual basis. They may also be hired by software engineering companies and consulting companies.

 


 

Find Video Game Audio Programmer Job Opportunities

Video Game Audio Programmer Jobs - Canada

 

Video Game Audio Programmer Jobs - United States

 


 

 

 

Experience Needed to Become a Video Game Audio Programmer

If you want to become a video game audio programmer that works in a large video game development studio, you will likely need to have 3-5 years of professional programming experience, and at least one shipped title to your credit. If you want to work in a smaller studio however, you may be able to get a job with much less professional experience.

 

Regardless of the amount of professional experience you have, and the size of the employer you wish to work for, you should build and maintain an online portfolio of your best work. Your portfolio could be it a collection of school projects, freelance projects, or professional experience. The purpose of your portfolio is to demonstrate to potential employers your skills as a programmer, as well as your technical knowledge of the principles of sound and audio manipulation.

 

 

Skills Needed to Become a Video Game Audio Programmer

In order to become effective in a career as a video game audio programmer, you need to posses a certain skill set. These skills will allow you to perform your job duties with competence and help you maintain a positive attitude towards your work. Employers know this, and as a result you will likely see many of these skills, or slight variations of them, listed on Video Game Audio Programmer job postings.

 

• Technical knowledge of the principles of sound and audio manipulation

• Expertise working with digital signal processing technology

• Proficient in C/C++ scripting, performance optimization for game consoles

• Proficient in the use of middleware audio APIs like Miles, FMOD, or Wwise

• Understand advanced audio concepts like mixing, sample rates, data compression filters, reverbs, and 3-D positional sound

• Experience with DSP and effects programming using third party audio processing plugins

 

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Video Game Audio Programmer Salary

The salary level of video game audio programmers can vary depending on their personal qualifications, the size and type of their employer, the specific responsibilities of their job, and many other factors.

 

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

 

Video Game Audio Programmer Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers occupational group is $53,589 per year.

 

Video Game Audio Programmer Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage of American workers in the Software Developers, Applications occupational group is $93,280 per year. 

 

 

Careers Similar to Video Game Audio Programmer

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

 

Computer Programmer

Flash Programmer

Graphic Designer

Sound Editor

Video Game Developer

 

 

References: How to Become a Video Game Audio Programmer

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Video Game Audio Programmer.

 

Alberta Learning and Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca

Compucert website: www.compucert.com

Get In Media website: getinmedia.com

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming a Video Game Audio Programmer

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Video Game Audio Programmer can be found on the following pages:

 

Computer Engineering Scholarships

Computer Science Scholarships

Software Engineering Scholarships

 

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 Video Game Audio Programmer: Applicable Majors

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

 


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