Getting started in the work field can be very stressful, no matter what your career. But when you start in a career like video game testing, well, there are certain things you should know before jumping right in.

Firstly, testing video games can be a fun job, but as a video game tester, you will need to understand what you can and will be paid on most jobs. This page will give you a clearer look at what you can expect in today's game testing industry, and what you can really expect to get paid to play video games.

Without further ado, here are the 3 things you should realize about a game tester salary:

1. It Can Be a Lot
Video game testers young and old should expect to be paid pretty nice hourly rates. Standard hourly rates back before the huge video game boom of 2008- when gaming became a $50 billion industry- were sitting at around $8-$20 "per hour". Naturally these rates are a fair bit higher now, because of the huge success game developers have seen in recent times. Now you should expect an average of about $15 an hour, even if you're a fairly new person to video game beta testing. Sounds great right? But keep in mind there are two more things you should understand like:

2. There Will Be "Droughts"
Probably the best way to describe this little quirk of the job is to call it a drought. A point in the game industry (usually in the winter months) where video game developers are just not needing too many testers. The reason is that most development cycles keep testing as late as possible. Ideally, they'll get a ton of testing done after the game is has been fully completed. And at the same time, if you haven't noticed, many games come out around the same time of year. The ones that hit around winter months are designed to take advantage of the holiday rush, and most developers are sitting back and relaxing after getting their latest title in store shelves. Sure there are some games that are available to beta test on, but competition to get with the developers that continue work in this drought season is high and you shouldn't expect consistent work. A game tester salary can certainly help pay the bills, but be sure not to party too much and save for that special time of year when you'll likely be out of work.

3. It Changes All the Time
Just like the video game industry is constantly evolving and changing, so too is the industry of video game testers. Getting a video game tester career is great because you can expect to play tons of games, but its even better because as you build up experience and a resume, you can expect to make more and more money. You may start at $15 an hour, but you could build yourself up to $40 an hour! If you work hard and are reliable, then there's no reason you won't reach the higher standard of earning.

So did you find that an eye opener? Most people think that a game tester salary is subpar to other fields, but the truth is, it's a very nice bit of cash. Well worth slaving over a video game, talking to all the NPCs or charting all the glitches in a level or map. Especially because you'll be smiling all the while!