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Set and Exhibit Designer

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What Does it Take to Be a Set and Exhibit Designer?

Career Description Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

List of Set & Exhibit Designer Job Duties

  • Direct and coordinate construction, erection, or decoration activities in order to ensure that sets or exhibits meet design, budget, and schedule requirements.
  • Attend rehearsals and production meetings in order to obtain and share information related to sets.
  • Develop set designs based on evaluation of scripts, budgets, research information, and available locations.
  • Acquire, or arrange for acquisition of, specimens or graphics required to complete exhibits.
  • Coordinate the transportation of sets that are built off-site, and coordinate their setup at the site of use.
  • Prepare rough drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans, scenery, and properties to be constructed.

Qualities of a Set & Exhibit Designer

When polled, Set and Exhibit Designers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Types of Set and Exhibit Designer

  • Production Designer
  • Art Coordinator
  • Set Decorator
  • Theater Set Production Designer
  • Scenic Arts Supervisor

Are There Job Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers?

In the United States, there were 14,600 jobs for Set and Exhibit Designer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Set and Exhibit Designer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,600 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Set & Exhibit Designer are Georgia, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in South Carolina, Nebraska, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Set and Exhibit Designers Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Set and Exhibit Designers ranges between about $29,810 and $103,480 a year.

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Set and Exhibit Designers who work in District of Columbia, New York, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

How much do Set and Exhibit Designers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $50,260
Arizona $39,800
California $67,520
Colorado $46,540
Connecticut $55,290
District of Columbia $73,600
Florida $55,890
Georgia $56,040
Hawaii $69,860
Illinois $51,370
Indiana $45,550
Iowa $47,490
Kansas $41,110
Kentucky $52,150
Louisiana $40,990
Maryland $55,330
Massachusetts $58,870
Michigan $50,480
Minnesota $52,880
Missouri $44,760
Nebraska $60,430
Nevada $38,050
New Jersey $57,370
New Mexico $50,960
New York $76,650
North Carolina $55,970
Ohio $52,830
Oklahoma $45,470
Oregon $64,140
Pennsylvania $47,050
Texas $51,150
Utah $55,500
Virginia $47,720
Washington $47,460
West Virginia $44,140
Wisconsin $53,400

What Tools & Technology do Set and Exhibit Designers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Set and Exhibit Designers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Git
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • UNIX
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Oracle software
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Graphics software

How do I Become a Set & Exhibit Designer?

Learn what Set and Exhibit Designer education requirements there are.

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What work experience do I need to become a Set & Exhibit Designer?

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Where do Set and Exhibit Designers Work?

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The table below shows the approximate number of Set and Exhibit Designers employed by various industries.

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Set and Exhibit Designer might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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