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Set and Exhibit Designers

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All About Set and Exhibit Designers

Position Description 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.
  • Confer with clients and staff in order to gather information about exhibit space, proposed themes and content, timelines, budgets, materials, and/or promotion requirements.
  • Assign staff to complete design ideas and prepare sketches, illustrations, and detailed drawings of sets, or graphics and animation.
  • Coordinate the transportation of sets that are built off-site, and coordinate their setup at the site of use.
  • Coordinate the removal of sets, props, and exhibits after productions or events are complete.
  • Examine objects to be included in exhibits in order to plan where and how to display them.

Set & Exhibit Designer Needed Skills

Set and Exhibit Designers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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

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.

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

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

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

Types of Set & Exhibit Designer Jobs

  • Exhibit Preparator
  • Show Design Supervisor
  • Event Designer
  • Display Coordinator
  • Room Designer

Set & Exhibit Designer Employment Estimates

There were about 14,600 jobs for Set and Exhibit Designers in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.3% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Set and Exhibit Designers by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,600 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Set and Exhibit Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Set and Exhibit Designers are New York, Georgia, and California.

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.

Salary for Set and Exhibit Designers

The salary for Set and Exhibit Designers ranges between about $29,810 and $103,480 a year. The median salary is $54,270.

Salary Ranges for Set and Exhibit Designers

How much do Set and Exhibit Designers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New York


District of Columbia












New Jersey




North Carolina






















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West Virginia










Tools & Technologies Used by Set and Exhibit Designers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Set and Exhibit Designers may use on a daily basis:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro
  • McNeel Rhino software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

Where do Set and Exhibit Designers Work?

Set & Exhibit Designer Sectors

Similar Careers

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

  • Commercial and Industrial Designers
  • Multimedia Artists and Animators


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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