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Interactive Media Programmer

Interactive media programmers write, edit, integrate, and test computer code. They do this for internet applications, e-learning software, computer games, film and animation, video, and other interactive media.

Also Known As

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

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Interactive Media Developers (2174.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers (C074) 
  • 2011 NOC: Computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174) 
  • 2016 NOC: Computer programmers and interactive media developers (2174) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Interactive Media Developers
2006 NOC : 2174.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Duties vary in this rapidly evolving role. In general, interactive media programmers:

  • work closely with graphic designers, visual artists, and others to collect content and document user needs
  • help plan and develop logical programming specifications
  • develop user interfaces for interactive digital media (such as HTML5 applications, mobile platforms, and other gaming console platforms)
  • program animations for the web and other apps
  • write, edit, integrate and test software code for e-commerce, database systems, and other Internet apps
  • research and assess interactive media software products.

Programmers must keep up to date with new developments. To do this, they share information via social media and open source websites and read computer-related articles, journals, and magazines. They also go to training courses and conferences.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Interactive media programmers often work in offices or studios. Their work spaces must be equipped with leading-edge technology. Some self-employed programmers work from home.

This job may require some overtime to meet project deadlines. It may also involve some travel. Programmers attend both in-person and virtual meetings (hosted with video-based apps).

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Interactive media programmers need to possess:

  • the ability to think logically and abstractly
  • the ability to pay attention to detail
  • research skills (to discover effective methods for programming)
  • the ability to work on their own or as part of a team in a creative setting
  • an active interest in keeping up with advances in technology.

They should enjoy:

  • studying problems to find creative solutions
  • taking a step-by-step approach to precision work.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Computer programmers and interactive media developers
NOC code: 2174

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jan 28, 2022 and May 28, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Write, modify, integrate and test software code
Maintain existing computer programs by making modifications as required
Identify and communicate technical problems, processes and solutions
Prepare reports, manuals and other documentation on the status, operation and maintenance of software
Assist in the collection and documentation of user's requirements
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Personal Suitability: Organized
Assist in the development of logical and physical specifications
Personal Suitability: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Interactive media programmers often started in other positions. For example, they may have been graphic designers or software engineers. There are no standard education requirements. However, most employers expect applicants to have at least 2 years of related post-secondary education or experience for entry-level positions.

Computer technology is constantly changing. This means that interactive media programmers must continuously upgrade their knowledge.

Universities, colleges, technical institutes, and private vocational schools throughout Alberta offer many design and computer science programs. Before enrolling, 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.

Academy of Learning - Calgary Central

Academy of Learning - Calgary NE

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning - Red Deer

Alberta University of the Arts

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

InnoTech College (Calgary)

InnoTech College (Edmonton)

International College of Business and Technology

Pixel Blue College

University of Alberta

Visual College of Art and Design of Calgary

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop, or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies. They do so objectively applying specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf].

To call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the ISP designation, you must register as a member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Information Systems Professional.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Interactive media programmers work for:

  • communication design studios
  • software development firms
  • interactive software developer teams
  • media production companies
  • IT consulting firms
  • personal home businesses (freelance)
  • the IT units of large private- or public-sector organizations

They may also be self-employed.

Experienced interactive media programmers may move into related positions such as web designer or game developer.

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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 269 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Salaries vary and depend on the duties of the position and the person’s education and experience.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Computer programmers and interactive media developers

2016 NOC : 2174
Average Wage
$41.84
Per Hour
Average Salary
$84,210.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.8
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2174 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


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 $18.00 $39.70 $31.14 $32.69
Overall $26.45 $58.96 $41.84 $38.78
Top $33.00 $85.58 $54.54 $51.44

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Public Administration
Information, Culture, Recreation
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

41%
41%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

11%
11%

Vacancy Rate

3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: www.cipsalberta.ca

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

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

Technology Alberta website: technologyalberta.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. 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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