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3d programmer

A 3D programmer is integrated into the engine team and is responsible for developing and optimising the graphics engine and the related functionalities. It is a job that requires knowledge of computer languages ​​and game engines.

3D Programmer Job Description
Last update
Level of studies: master’s degree
Recommended high school specialisation: Scientific
Employability Very good
Starting salary: € 2,100
Salary after experience: € 3,500
Mobility: Very good
ROME code: M1805
FAP code: M2790

The responsibilities of the 3D programmer

By working with the technical team or the artistic team, a 3D programmer performs a set of tasks that begin with:

  • Analysing production needs and define strategy
  • Developing, designing, adding graphics functionalities in the engine
  • Optimising performance
  • Creating tools for graphic designers
  • Carrying out maintenance, tests and corrections
Hitman programmer 3D
As with the Hitman video game, a 3D programmer intervenes on behalf of management to develop and optimise the graphics engine for the graphics team.

The skills of a 3D programmer

In this position, you must have a minimum of skills and expertise. Becoming a 3D programmer means mastering:

  • Unity 3D engine
  • Low level and level programming – C, C ++, C #
  • HTML, Javascript, PHP programming
  • 3D aspects, including calculations
  • Rendering, production, integration, visualisation tools
  • Some 3D software like Maya, 3DSMax
  • Scripting like Python
programmer 3D PHP
A 3d programmer must know PHP code.
Python programmer 3D
Writing scripts in Python is also part of the daily life of a 3D programmer.

The qualities of a 3D programmer

As they work within a team of video game designers and are in contact with graphic designers, a 3D programmer must be able to work in a team and know the constraints of each department. In addition, they must have a profile showing:

  • Organisation
  • Rigor
  • Resourcefulness
  • Autonomy

Studies needed to become a 3D programmer

Based on the skills required and constantly evolving technologies, becoming a 3D programmer requires education, usually a master’s degree. It is possible to choose between a general high school diploma specialising in mathematics, statistics and computer sciences or engineering sciences from high school. Or you can specialise in science and technologies of industry and development (STI2D) in a technical high school diploma.

Then, paths open to you for; further study in an engineering school, a BTS in computer science, or a school specialising in video games.

What course should you choose to become a 3D programmer?

Going through our G. Tech school in Lyon allows you to both obtain an MSc diploma recognised as RNCP level 7 and evolve for five years in the world of video games, gaming, and esport, a very conducive environment.

You will first have to opt for an IT developer bachelor’s degree specialising in video games to do this. This is a higher education course that takes three years with the program teaching all the basics of IT development.

Then we offer the MSc in video game programming. Over two years, this high-level technical course allows you to master the computer development of a video game, learn programming languages and video game engines such as Unity 3D, Unreal Engine 4, etc. In addition, a large section is devoted to the management and piloting of projects.

The two diplomas are supplemented by internships of different duration: from two to six months.

Learn more


We suggest that each student follow several internship periods during their education — there is nothing like immersing yourself for a few months in your future universe to understand its theories.

You will carry out a two-month internship in the 1st and the second year in a bachelor’s degree. In the third year, the internship duration is three months.

There will be six months of internship in MSc and then the last year in a work-study placement.

Advantages and disadvantages of the profession

Like everywhere, no job is 100% perfect. There is also a component that is sometimes more restrictive. These are the pros and cons of being a 3D programmer.


  • Sometimes high salary
  • Required profile
  • A profession based on passion


  • Work under pressure
  • Respect of deadlines
  • Flexible hours

What is the salary of a 3D programmer?

There is a disparity in salaries according to profile, experience, status and employer. In France, you can earn between 25,000 euros per year and up to more than 42,000 euros.

In the United States, the average is $ 60,000 per year. The highest salaries are $ 85,000. On the other hand, a 3D programmer earns the most in Montreal: $ 75,000 on average and spikes over $ 95,000.

Where can you work?

Not all video game creation studios exclusively have a 3D programmer; sometimes, it’s up to a programmer to do a little bit of everything. However, for some relatively large companies, 3D programmers are evolving. This is the case at Quantic Dream in Paris, Gameloft or Ubisoft.

It is also possible to work for video games on mobile, PC, or consoles simultaneously.

Opportunities for the profession of 3D programmer

It is a technical profession; needing sought-after and advanced skills, and a 3D programmer will work in their favourite field for a studio. And it will be possible to progress after a few years of experience by leading a team of developers or to work on another specialisation such as online programming, engine, tools.

Become a freelancer

Many programmers choose to work independently. Therefore, a good course, a little experience, and references make it possible to earn a living by carrying out freelance responsibilities. For the profession of 3D programmer, it is also possible. However, in addition to the qualities mentioned below, this requires more work ethic and organisation in their work.

In summary

How can you become a 3D programmer?

Their skills are acquired after computer training. The objective is to know the languages ​​and the engines of video games. So to become a 3D programmer, you have to go through a school specialising in video game careers, such as G. Tech and their MSc in video game programming. After five years, this course allows you to become an expert in 3D programming.