Occupation Profile for Set and Exhibit Designers

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


$41,820.00 Median Annual Wage 1,000 Average Job Openings Per Year
3.7 Average Unemployment Percentage 13.9 Percentage That Completed High School
12,000 Employment Numbers in 2006 31.4 Percentage That Had Some College
14,000 Employment Numbers in 2016 (est.) 54.6 Percentage That Went Beyond College Degree

Sample Job Titles
Art and Exhibits Director
Art Coordinator
Art Director
Design Chief
Display Coordinator
Display Designer
Exhibit Designer
Exhibit Preparator
Exhibitions Curator
Food Stylist
Historical Society Window Dresser
Installations Designer
Manager, Exhibits
Miniature Set Designer
Museum Curator
Presentation Specialist
Production Manager
Room Designer
Scenic Designer
Set Decorator
Set Designer
Show Design Supervisor
Stage Scenery Designer
Stage Set Designer
Supervisor, Scenic Arts
Television Scenic Design Supervisor

Related Occupations

Sources: Career Guide to Industries (CGI), Occupational Information Network (O*Net), Occupation Outlook Handbook (OOH)
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Supplemental — Attend rehearsals and production meetings in order to obtain and share information related to sets.
  • Core — Collaborate with those in charge of lighting and sound so that those production aspects can be coordinated with set designs or exhibit layouts.
  • Core — Acquire, or arrange for acquisition of, specimens or graphics required to complete exhibits.
  • Supplemental — Arrange for outside contractors to construct exhibit structures.
  • Core — Research architectural and stylistic elements appropriate to the time period to be depicted, consulting experts for information as necessary.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Related College Curriculum
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