Set and Exhibit Designers
SOC: 27-1027.00

Description:

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


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
13,300 employed

Projected (2024):
14,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Art Coordinator
  • Art Director
  • Design Chief
  • Design Supervisor
  • Designer
  • Display Coordinator
  • Display Designer
  • Event Decorator and Designer
  • Event Designer
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Exhibit Preparator
  • Exhibit Specialist
  • Food Stylist
  • Miniature Set Designer
  • Museum Exhibit Designer
  • Presentation Specialist
  • Production Designer
  • Room Designer
  • Scenic Arts Supervisor
  • Scenic Designer
  • Set Decorator
  • Set Designer
  • Show Design Supervisor
  • Stage Set Designer
  • Theater Set Production Designer


  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Examine objects to be included in exhibits in order to plan where and how to display them.
  • Acquire, or arrange for acquisition of, specimens or graphics required to complete exhibits.
  • Prepare rough drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans, scenery, and properties to be constructed.
  • Confer with clients and staff in order to gather information about exhibit space, proposed themes and content, timelines, budgets, materials, and/or promotion requirements.
  • Estimate set- or exhibit-related costs including materials, construction, and rental of props or locations.
  • Develop set designs based on evaluation of scripts, budgets, research information, and available locations.
  • Direct and coordinate construction, erection, or decoration activities in order to ensure that sets or exhibits meet design, budget, and schedule requirements.
  • Inspect installed exhibits for conformance to specifications, and satisfactory operation of special effects components.
  • Plan for location-specific issues such as space limitations, traffic flow patterns, and safety concerns.
  • Submit plans for approval, and adapt plans to serve intended purposes, or to conform to budget or fabrication restrictions.
  • Prepare preliminary renderings of proposed exhibits, including detailed construction, layout, and material specifications, and diagrams relating to aspects such as special effects and/or lighting.
  • Select and purchase lumber and hardware necessary for set construction.
  • Collaborate with those in charge of lighting and sound so that those production aspects can be coordinated with set designs or exhibit layouts.
  • Research architectural and stylistic elements appropriate to the time period to be depicted, consulting experts for information as necessary.
  • Design and produce displays and materials that can be used to decorate windows, interior displays, or event locations such as streets and fairgrounds.
  • Coordinate the removal of sets, props, and exhibits after productions or events are complete.
  • Select set props such as furniture, pictures, lamps, and rugs.
  • Confer with conservators in order to determine how to handle an exhibit's environmental aspects, such as lighting, temperature, and humidity, so that objects will be protected and exhibits will be enhanced.
  • Assign staff to complete design ideas and prepare sketches, illustrations, and detailed drawings of sets, or graphics and animation.
  • Observe sets during rehearsals in order to ensure that set elements do not interfere with performance aspects such as cast movement and camera angles.
  • Design and build scale models of set designs, or miniature sets used in filming backgrounds or special effects.
  • Read scripts in order to determine location, set, and design requirements.
  • Attend rehearsals and production meetings in order to obtain and share information related to sets.
  • Arrange for outside contractors to construct exhibit structures.
  • Provide supportive materials for exhibits and displays, such as press kits and advertising, posters, brochures, catalogues, and invitations and publicity notices.
  • Incorporate security systems into exhibit layouts.
  • Coordinate the transportation of sets that are built off-site, and coordinate their setup at the site of use.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Airbrush paint applicators
  • All-purpose scissors
  • Claw hammers
  • Digital still cameras
  • Electric arc welding equipment
  • Furniture staplers
  • General purpose paintbrushes
  • Handsaws
  • Laptop computers
  • Liquid crystal display LCD projectors
  • Paint application rollers
  • Personal computers
  • Pneumatic nail guns
  • Portable air compressors
  • Portable stepladders
  • Rotary saws
  • Sewing machines
  • Sound mixing boards
  • Synthetic web slings
  • Tablet computers
  • Act-3D Quest3D
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Director
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Autodesk 3ds Max
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Figure 53 QLab
  • Google SketchUp software
  • McNeel Rhino software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Nemetschek Vectorworks Spotlight


  • arts design entertainment sports and media


    industry stats

    SOC: 27-0000

    Total Employed: 1,843,600

    Average Annual Salary: $56,980