Find Grad Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Set and Exhibit Designer

Find Schools Near

Life As a Set and Exhibit Designer

Set & Exhibit Designer Example Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

A Day in the Life of a Set & Exhibit Designer

  • Develop set designs based on evaluation of scripts, budgets, research information, and available locations.
  • Select and purchase lumber and hardware necessary for set construction.
  • Plan for location-specific issues such as space limitations, traffic flow patterns, and safety concerns.
  • Attend rehearsals and production meetings in order to obtain and share information related to sets.
  • Read scripts in order to determine location, set, and design requirements.
  • Inspect installed exhibits for conformance to specifications, and satisfactory operation of special effects components.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Set & Exhibit Designer?

These are the skills Set and Exhibit Designers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Other Set & Exhibit Designer Job Titles

  • Set Decorator
  • Art Director
  • Design Supervisor
  • Stage Set Designer
  • Production Designer

Is There Going to be Demand 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. The BLS estimates 1,600 yearly job openings in this field.


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.

Set & Exhibit Designer Average Salary

Set and Exhibit Designers make between $29,810 and $103,480 a year.


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 different U.S. states?

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

Becoming a Set & Exhibit Designer

What kind of Set and Exhibit Designer requirements are there?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Set and Exhibit Designers Work


Set and Exhibit Designers work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Graduate Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited graduate schools across the U.S.