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Set and Exhibit Designers - 27-1027.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Design Chief
  • Designer
  • Display Coordinator
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Exhibit Preparator
  • Production Designer
  • Scenic Designer
  • Set Decorator
  • Set Designer
  • Show Design Supervisor

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

No information available.

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Display Designer

DOT Crosswalk Titles

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