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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Ontario, California

There are many career and education opportunities for set and exhibit designers in the Ontario, California area. About 2,300 people are currently employed as set and exhibit designers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to 2,700 people employed. This is better than the national trend for set and exhibit designers, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. Set and exhibit designers generally design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets.

Set and exhibit designers earn about $24 per hour or $50,930 per year on average in California and about $21 per hour or $44,660 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as set and exhibit designers in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. Jobs in this field include: display coordinator, exhibit designer, and exhibit preparator.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Ontario where you can study to be a set and exhibit designer, among twenty-two schools of higher education total in the Ontario area. Given that the most common education level for set and exhibit designers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a set and exhibit designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Set and Exhibit Designer

Set and Exhibit Designer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, set and exhibit designers design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. They also may study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

Set and exhibit designers estimate set- or exhibit-related costs including materials and rental of props or locations. They also direct and schedule construction, erection, or decoration efforts in order to insure that sets or exhibits meet layout and schedule requirements. Equally important, set and exhibit designers have to talk with clients and staff so as to gather data related to exhibit space, proposed themes and content and/or promotion requirements. They are often called upon to acquire, or manage acquisition of, specimens or graphics required to finish exhibits. They are expected to submit plans for approval, and adapt plans to serve intended purposes, or to conform to budget or fabrication restrictions. Finally, set and exhibit designers design for location-specific issues such as space limitations, traffic flow patterns, and safety concerns.

Every day, set and exhibit designers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for set and exhibit designers to layout and produce displays and materials that can be used to decorate windows or event locations such as streets and fairgrounds. They are often called upon to direct the removal of sets and exhibits after productions or events are complete. They also research architectural and stylistic elements appropriate to the time period to be depicted, consulting experts for data as needed. They are sometimes expected to decide on and purchase lumber and hardware needed for set construction. Somewhat less frequently, set and exhibit designers are also expected to observe sets during rehearsals in order to insure that set elements do not interfere with performance aspects such as cast movement and camera angles.

and design set designs on the basis of evaluation of scripts and available locations. And finally, they sometimes have to ready rough drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans and properties to be constructed.

Like many other jobs, set and exhibit designers must believe in innovation and creative thought and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Ontario include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Set and Exhibit Designer Training

Platt College-Ontario - Ontario, CA

Platt College-Ontario, 3700 Inland Empire Boulevard, Ontario, CA 91764. Platt College-Ontario is a small college located in Ontario, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 276 students. Platt College-Ontario has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Design and Visual Communications which graduated four, three, forty-six, and fifty-three students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Inland Empire - Upland, CA

Westwood College-Inland Empire, 20 W 7th St, Upland, CA 91786-7148. Westwood College-Inland Empire is a small college located in Upland, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,080 students and an admission rate of 42%. Westwood College-Inland Empire has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated eleven students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino - San Bernardino, CA

ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino, 670 E Carnegie Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408. ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino is a small school located in San Bernardino, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,598 students and an admission rate of 54%. ITT Technical Institute-San Bernardino has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.


Ontario, California
Ontario, California photo by Sfan00_IMG

Ontario is situated in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 171,691, which has grown by 8.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Ontario, 127, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Ontario are priced at $164,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Ontario, down from three hundred seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Ontario are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 31 minutes. More than 10.5% of Ontario residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 2.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Ontario is 14.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Ontario residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses, Country Church of Ontario and Grace Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Ontario. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Ontario is home to the Ontario Motor Speedway and the West End Multi-Service Center as well as Del Rancho Park and Unity Park. Shopping malls in the area include Galvin Park Shopping Center, Vineyard Freeway Shopping Center and Ontario Vineyard Marketplace Shopping Center. Visitors to Ontario can choose from Best Western Ontario, Best Western Ontario Airport and Amerisuites Ontario Mills for temporary stays in the area.