Video game technicians, or simply game techs, are responsible for maintaining gaming equipment, machines and accessories. If you are a video game enthusiast with excellent technical and troubleshooting skills, this could be the ideal job for you.
1. What Do Video Game Technicians Do?
Their duties include:
- Installing video game machines and equipment
- Maintaining and repairing the machines
- Advising gamers on basic troubleshooting practices
- Safely keeping maintenance records
- Informing gamers about the facility’s gaming rules and regulations
- Staying abreast of hardware releases in the video gaming industry.
2. Work Environment
Video game technicians work for more than 40 hours a week, since game rooms usually operate during the weekends and holidays.
At work, the techs are often on their feet responding to machine breakdowns or user assistance requests. The environment could be noisy, especially where gamers are not required to use gaming headsets.
According to Indeed, video game technicians in the US earn an average annual salary of $25,000.
4. Entry Requirements
To become a video game technician, you need to earn an associate degree in game technology, entertainment technology, or a closely-related field. These programs provide foundational instruction in digital electronics, soldering technology, low-voltage cabling, and integrated electronic systems among other topics.
Some of the schools offering the relevant programs include:
It is also possible to enter the profession through game technology apprenticeships which are offered by large gaming hubs or computer electronics repair shops.
5. Important Qualities
To be a competent video game technician, you need:
- Strong technical skills
- Steady eye-hand coordination
- Computer skills
- Strong troubleshooting skills
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Practical skills
- Teamwork skills
- The ability to read and understand technical drawings
- An understanding of electronic health and safety practices
- A passion for video games
- Communication skills
- Multitasking skills
- Organization skills
- Time management skills.
6. Career Progression
After you are hired as a video game technician, you can attend short-term training courses offered by private academies such as the Cellular Repair School to broaden your skill set and improve your competence. It is also advisable to obtain the Gaming and Vending Technician (GVT) certification from the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA).
If you are ambitious enough, you could use this career as a springboard to other jobs in the video game industry. For instance, if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in game engineering or game and simulation programming, expect the university to accept credit transfers since you already have an associate degree in game technology.
Once you earn your bachelor’s, be sure to secure membership in the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). By doing so, you will gain accesses to industry events, where you can network with other video game professionals.
7. Job Opportunities
The employer of game techs include:
- Game hubs
- Sellers of gaming equipment and machines
- Manufacturers of gaming equipment and machines.
With vast experience and the GVT credential, you could advance to the position of lead game technician. With a bachelor’s in game engineering or game design and programming, you will be hired as a game engineer, designer or as a developer.
Finally, according to a 2014 report published by the ESA, employment in the US video game industry has been growing by 9 percent annually since 2009. The trend is expected to continue.
So, if you have an aptitude for technical work, then you could become a video game technician.