Environment Artist

Design the scenery of a video game.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $100,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Environment Artists do?

Did your mom tell you video games would make you stupid? That’s silly. Everyone knows that video games don’t eat brains. Zombies do. If you covet a career in video game design, therefore, rest easy: Video games don’t make you dumb, lazy, violent or reclusive. When you’re an Environment Artist, however, they do make you employed — which should make Mom very happy, indeed.

Environment Artists, like Level Designers, are the divine creators of the gaming world. Without them, Mario and Luigi would have neither castles to conquer nor a princess to save. That’s because it’s your job as an Environment Artist to make them.

To do so, you’ll borrow skills from the real world — from fine art, graphic design, architecture and interior design — to build 3D objects in the digital world. Take a racing game, for instance. Your job isn’t designing the race itself, but rather the designs on the racecars, the texture of the asphalt, the sheen on the spilled oil, the racers’ hairstyles and the scenery that surrounds the track. Because you decide how everything in a video game looks — from the characters and their props to everything about the physical world around them, including its topography, landscaping and lighting — your job, in a manner of speaking, is playing God.

Unlike the Almighty, however, you won’t be willing worlds into being; instead, you’ll be creating them with special software. As a result, you’ll need both your right brain, for design, and your left brain, for technology. Whole-brain intelligence? Take that, Mom!

Should I be an Environment Artist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become an Environment Artist

    Most Environment Artists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aut9aa&chl=|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%2819%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2862%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,62
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