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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Hartford, Connecticut

If you want to be a set and exhibit designer, the Hartford, Connecticut area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 110 people work as set and exhibit designers in Connecticut. This is expected to grow 9% to 120 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for set and exhibit designers are expected to grow by about 16.6%. In general, set and exhibit designers design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets.

Set and exhibit designers earn about $19 hourly or $40,050 yearly on average in Connecticut and about $21 per hour or $44,660 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for set and exhibit designers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Connecticut and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. People working as set and exhibit designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: presentation specialist, display designer, and room designer.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can study to be a set and exhibit designer, among sixty-two schools of higher education total in the Hartford 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 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 Hartford 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.
  • 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

Central Connecticut State University - New Britain, CT

Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050. Central Connecticut State University is a large university located in New Britain, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,233 students and an admission rate of 60%. Central Connecticut State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated thirty and zero students respectively in 2008.

University of Connecticut - Storrs, CT

University of Connecticut, , Storrs, CT 06269. University of Connecticut is a large university located in Storrs, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,273 students and an admission rate of 54%. University of Connecticut has a bachelor's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Hartford - West Hartford, CT

University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117-1599. University of Hartford is a medium sized university located in West Hartford, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,366 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Hartford has a bachelor's degree program in Illustration which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Capital Community College - Hartford, CT

Capital Community College, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Capital Community College is a small college located in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,989 students. Capital Community College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.