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Updated

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.

  • Avg. Salary $81,552.00
  • Avg. Wage $40.22
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook avg
  • Employed 11,600
  • In Demand Medium
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Interactive Media Programmer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Interactive Media Developers
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 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

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).

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
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.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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.

Alberta College of Art and Design

InnoTech College (Calgary)

InnoTech College (Edmonton)

Lethbridge College

Lighthouse Labs

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 Mar 31, 2018

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.

What You Need

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 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 C074: Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 211 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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.

Computer programmers and interactive media developers

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 $19.23 $48.08 $30.82 $30.29
Overall $21.63 $57.41 $40.22 $40.38
Top $21.63 $70.85 $49.93 $50.30

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.

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.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Information, Culture, Recreation
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

37%
37%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

36%
36%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

12%
12%

Vacancy Rate

4%
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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

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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