Set and exhibit designer essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $50,300
- 2012, number of jobs: 8,680
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 10 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Set and exhibit designers; what they do:
Set designers and exhibit designers play and important role in helping transport people’s imaginations to a different time and place, whether it’s for a play, movie, television show, or exhibit.
A set designer career and an exhibit designer career involve reading scripts and researching the history of artifacts in order to create appropriate and believable sets and exhibit designs. A set designer career and an exhibit designer career includes identifying the intended audience and catering to their preferences while designing a set or exhibit.
Set designers and exhibit designers often use computer-aided design (CAD) programs when creating prototypes of sets or exhibits.
Set designer careers and exhibit designer careers involve meeting and consulting with directors, curators, clients, production staff, and other designers in order to agree upon a final vision and the steps to take to reach their goal. Set designers read scripts and familiarize themselves with the story.
Set designers and exhibit designers work within a given budget and time line or sometimes must create their own.
Live theatrical performance set designers specialize in creating sets for live performances such as theater, ballet, and opera.
Television or movie set designers create sets for T.V. and motion pictures, which may include travelling to a specific location or creating a set within a studio.
Television studio set designers create sets for news and sports broadcasts, talk shows, interviews, and other in-studio programs.
Trade show or convention designers specialize in exhibits focused on demonstrating products. These designers have the pressure of very limited space and the need to stand out among multiple nearby sets.
Exhibit designers specialize in designing areas to display art or artifacts for museum exhibits. They must consider space and leave enough room for people to admire the artifacts but also move around them easily and carefully.
Set and exhibit designers job titles:
- Museum Exhibit Designer
- Exhibit Preparator
- Design Chief
- Display Coordinator
- Exhibitions Curator
- Scenic Designer
- Show Design Supervisor
- Historical Society Window Dresser
Set and Exhibit Designers Education, Certification and License Requirements
Some people seeking a set designer career or an exhibit designer career obtain a Bachelor of Set Design, Scenic Design, or Theater degree from a program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design or the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
Set and exhibit designer programs cover subjects such as:
- Model building
- Hand drafting
- Computer-aided drawing
Set designers and exhibit designers don’t need specific licenses or certifications.
Set and Exhibit Designers Job Outlook
Forecast: 10 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for set designers and exhibit designers, about on par with the average for all occupations.
Forecast: 17 percent employment growth for set designers and exhibit designers specializing in museum exhibits, as the number of private museums and museum specializing in narrow topic areas increases.
Companies hiring set designers and exhibit designers for theater, dance, and opera performances may hire freelancers more often, rather than employing a full-time designer.
Set and Exhibit Designers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $50,300
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $69,850
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $33,790
- Motion picture and video industries
- Performing arts companies
- Museums, historical sites, and similar institutions
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Promoters of events, and agents and mangers