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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Thornton, Colorado

Set and exhibit designer career and educational opportunities abound in Thornton, Colorado. There are currently 260 jobs for set and exhibit designers in Colorado and this is projected to grow 22% to about 320 jobs by 2016. 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. In general, set and exhibit designers design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets.

Set and exhibit designers earn approximately $14 hourly or $30,920 per year on average in Colorado. Nationally they average about $21 per hour or $44,660 per year. Incomes for set and exhibit designers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Art and Design in Colorado, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Set and exhibit designers work in a variety of jobs, including: set decorator, production manager, and presentation specialist.

The Thornton area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can get a degree as a set and exhibit designer. Set and exhibit designers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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 Thornton 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.
  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • 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.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • 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

Red Rocks Community College - Lakewood, CO

Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W Sixth Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228-1255. Red Rocks Community College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,432 students. Red Rocks Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated two, one, and one students respectively in 2008.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design - Denver, CO

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, 1600 Pierce St, Denver, CO 80214. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design is a small college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 573 students and an admission rate of 99%. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Illustration which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Platt College - Aurora, CO

Platt College, 3100 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014-3141. Platt College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 155 students and an admission rate of 100%. Platt College has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Design and Visual Communications which graduated zero, fifteen, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Colorado - Denver, CO

The Art Institute of Colorado, 1200 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203-2983. The Art Institute of Colorado is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,069 students and an admission rate of 45%. The Art Institute of Colorado has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties which graduated four students in 2008.

Westwood College-Denver North - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver North, 7350 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80221. Westwood College-Denver North is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,843 students and an admission rate of 99%. Westwood College-Denver North has 2 areas of study related to Set and Exhibit Designer. They are:

  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 63 students in 2008.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 61 students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Thornton - Thornton, CO

ITT Technical Institute-Thornton, 500 E 84th Ave Ste B12, Thornton, CO 80229-5338. ITT Technical Institute-Thornton is a small school located in Thornton, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 750 students and an admission rate of 47%. ITT Technical Institute-Thornton has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Westwood College-Denver South - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver South, 3150 S Sheridan Blvd, Denver, CO 80227. Westwood College-Denver South is a small college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 404 students and an admission rate of 98%. Westwood College-Denver South has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated one student in 2008.

Community College of Denver - Denver, CO

Community College of Denver, 1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204-2026. Community College of Denver is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,006 students. Community College of Denver has a one to two year program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.