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Occupational Profile

Interactive Media Programmer

Interactive media programmers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for Internet applications, computer based training software, computer games, film, video and other interactive media.

  • Avg. Salary $97,706.00
  • Avg. Wage $47.60
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Average
  • Employed 12,400
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Computer Specialist, Graphic Artist, Information Technology Specialist, Multimedia Developer/Programmer, Video Games Programmer, Software Developer

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Interactive Media Programmer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Interactive Media Developers
NOC code: 2174.2
INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to develop logical and physical specifications and to research and evaluate a variety of interactive media software products

METHODICAL

Interest in precision working to test, correct and refine software code and to ensure applications meet original specifications; and in planning and scheduling work within set targets

DIRECTIVE

Interest in speaking to discuss user requirements and to identify and communicate technical problems, processes and solutions

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Duties vary from one job to another in this rapidly evolving occupation but, in general, interactive media programmers:

  • work closely with graphic designers, visual artists and others to collect and document user requirements
  • assist in the development of logical and physical specifications
  • develop interfaces for interactive digital media (for example, CDs, DVDs, video game cartridges, Internet based applications)
  • program animation software
  • program special effects software for film and video applications
  • write, modify, integrate and test software code for e-commerce and other Internet applications
  • research and evaluate interactive media software products.

To keep up to date with new developments, programmers share information via e-mail and web based resources, attend technical training courses and conferences and read computer related journals, magazines and newsletters.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Interactive media programmers usually work in offices or studios equipped with leading edge information technology. Some self-employed programmers work from home. Overtime may be required to meet project deadlines.

Some travel may be required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Interactive media programmers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think logically and abstractly
  • the ability to pay close attention to details
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team in a creative environment
  • an active interest in keeping up with technological advances.

They should enjoy analyzing problems to find innovative solutions and taking a methodical approach to work that requires precision.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Interactive media programmers have traditionally started in other occupations (for example, graphic designer, software engineer). There are no standard education requirements but employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have at least two years of related post-secondary education or experience.

Interactive media programmers must continuously upgrade their knowledge because computer technology is constantly changing.

There are a wide variety of design and computer science programs offered by universities, colleges, technical institutes and private vocational schools throughout Alberta. Before enrolling in a program, prospective students should discuss their education options with experienced interactive media programmers and potential employers.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Alberta College of Art and Design

Lethbridge College

Pixel Blue College

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

Education

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Interactive media programmers are employed by:

  • communication design studios
  • computer software development firms
  • interactive software publishers
  • media production companies 
  • information technology consulting firms.

They also may work in the information technology units of large private or public sector organizations, or be self-employed.

Experienced interactive media programmers may move into related occupations such as web designer or webmaster.

Interactive media programmers are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 12,400 Albertans are employed in the Computer programmers and interactive media developers occupational group. This group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 211 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As interactive media programmers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for interactive media programmers.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Salaries for interactive media programmers vary depending on the responsibilities of the position and the person's education and experience.

Computer programmers and interactive media developers
NOC code: 2174

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.63 $60.00 $38.69 $33.65
Overall $27.26 $62.00 $47.60 $46.74
Top $35.56 $77.69 $60.26 $59.82

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

33%
33%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

14%
14%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Communication Technology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) website: www.cips.ca

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website: www.ictc-ctic.ca

International Game Developers Association (IGDA) website: www.igda.org

Multimediator - Canada's Multimedia Guide website: www.multimediator.com

Technology Alberta website: www.albertaict.ca 

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Oct 01, 2009. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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