Set/Exhibit Designer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Set and Exhibit Designers Career Video



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

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Visual Arts pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Prepares rough drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans, scenery, and properties to be constructed.
  • Develops set designs based on evaluation of scripts, budgets, research information, and available locations.
  • Reads scripts in order to determine location, set, and design requirements.
  • Confers with clients and staff in order to gather information about exhibit space, proposed themes and content, timelines, budgets, materials, and/or promotion requirements.
  • Collaborates with those in charge of lighting and sound so that those production aspects can be coordinated with set designs or exhibit layouts.
  • Attends rehearsals and production meetings in order to obtain and share information related to sets.
  • Prepares preliminary renderings of proposed exhibits, including detailed construction, layout, and material specifications, and diagrams relating to aspects such as special effects and/or lighting.
  • Researches architectural and stylistic elements appropriate to the time period to be depicted, consulting experts for information as necessary.
  • Selects set props such as furniture, pictures, lamps, and rugs.
  • Inspects installed exhibits for conformance to specifications, and satisfactory operation of special effects components.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Miniature Set Designer --