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Set and Exhibit Designers - 27-1027.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Designer
  • Display Coordinator
  • Exhibit Coordinator
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Exhibit Preparator
  • Historical Society Window Dresser
  • Installations Designer
  • Projection Designer
  • Scenic Designer
  • Set Designer

SOC Occupation Groups

27-0000 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations
27-1000 Art and Design Workers
27-1020 Designers
27-1027.00 Set and Exhibit Designers

Related Occupations


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

Detailed Work Activities

  • Build models, patterns, or templates.
  • Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
  • Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work.
  • Confer with clients to determine needs.
  • Construct distinctive physical objects for artistic, functional, or commercial purposes.
  • Coordinate construction or installation activities.
  • Coordinate design activities.
  • Coordinate logistics for productions or events.
  • Design layout of art or product exhibits, displays, or promotional materials.
  • Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
  • Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes.
  • Discuss production content and progress with others.
  • Draw detailed or technical illustrations.
  • Estimate costs for projects or productions.
  • Inspect sets or exhibits.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Present work to clients for approval.
  • Promote products, activities, or organizations.
  • Select materials or props.
  • Study scripts to determine project requirements.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Advanced Visual Information-Graphics Marine (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Combat Graphics Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Historian (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Historian Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Historian Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Historian Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Historian Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Historian Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Display Designer (Prof & Kin)

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Art Director
  • Display Designer
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Set Decorator
  • Set Designer
  • Supervisor, Scenic Arts