Average 2011 US dev salary over $81,000

Lowest-paid developers now making even less as QA testers see average salary cut while most other roles rake in more.

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Curious as to how much money the average game developer makes? According to Game Developer magazine's 2011 Game Developer Salary Survey (via Gamasutra), the average US industry salary was $81,192 for the year, a small increase from 2010's $80,817.

The average game dev took home over $81,000 in 2011.
The average game dev took home over $81,000 in 2011.

Though the average developer salary was virtually flat, 66 percent of survey respondents made more money in 2011 than they did in 2010. This figure is up from the 56 percent rise from 2010 to 2009.

What area of game development is the best paid? That would be the business and legal sector, with employees in this area taking home $102,160 in 2011, down from $106,452 the year prior.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, quality assurance staffers again received the least compensation among all developers for the year. In 2011, the average QA employee took home $47,910, down from $49,009 the year prior.

The full list of average 2011 developer salaries--broken down by unit and year--is available below.

Programming:
$92,962 (2011) $85,873 (2010) +7.6 percent

Art and animation:
$75,780 (2011) $71,354 (2010) +5.8 percent

Game design:
$73,386 (2011) $70,223 (2010) +4.3 percent

Production:
$85,687 (2011) $88,544 (2010) -3.3 percent

Audio:
$83,182 (2011) $68,088 (2010) +18 percent

Quality assurance:
$47,910 (2011) $49, 009 (2010) -2.3 percent

Business:
$102,160 (2011) $106,452 (2010) -4.2 percent

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