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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Wilmington, Delaware

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for set and exhibit designers in the Wilmington, Delaware area. There are currently 100 jobs for set and exhibit designers in Delaware and this is projected to grow by 17% to about 120 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for set and exhibit designers are expected to grow by about 16.6%. Set and exhibit designers generally design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets.

The average wage in the general category of Art and Design jobs is $19 per hour or $39,463 per year in Delaware, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,166 per year nationwide. People working as set and exhibit designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: miniature set designer, set decorator, and exhibitions curator.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Wilmington area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can get a degree to start your career as a set and exhibit designer. The most common level of education 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 Wilmington 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.
  • Audio Visual Technician. Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
  • 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.
  • 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

Katharine Gibbs School - Norristown, PA

Katharine Gibbs School, 2501 Monroe Blvd, Norristown, PA 19403. Katharine Gibbs School is a small school located in Norristown, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. Katharine Gibbs School has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Moore College of Art and Design - Philadelphia, PA

Moore College of Art and Design, 20th and the Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1179. Moore College of Art and Design is a small college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 556 students and an admission rate of 59%. Moore College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Illustration.

The University of the Arts - Philadelphia, PA

The University of the Arts, 320 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102-4901. The University of the Arts is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,405 students and an admission rate of 45%. The University of the Arts has 2 areas of study related to Set and Exhibit Designer. They are:

  • Illustration, bachelor's degree which graduated 41 students in 2008.
  • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Wilmington University - New Castle, DE

Wilmington University, 320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720. Wilmington University is a medium sized university located in New Castle, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 8,980 students. Wilmington University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Delaware College of Art and Design - Wilmington, DE

Delaware College of Art and Design, 600 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801-3007. Delaware College of Art and Design is a small college located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 220 students and an admission rate of 53%. Delaware College of Art and Design has an associate's degree program in Illustration which graduated eight students in 2008.

Arcadia University - Glenside, PA

Arcadia University, 450 S Easton Rd, Glenside, PA 19038-3295. Arcadia University is a small university located in Glenside, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,872 students and an admission rate of 69%. Arcadia University has a bachelor's degree program in Illustration which graduated one student in 2008.

Temple University - Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096. Temple University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,343 students and an admission rate of 61%. Temple University has a master's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated two students in 2008.

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drexel University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,754 students and an admission rate of 68%. Drexel University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Applied Arts, Other Specialties which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

La Salle University - Philadelphia, PA

La Salle University, 1900 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199. La Salle University is a medium sized university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,176 students and an admission rate of 68%. La Salle University has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.