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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in St. Paul, Minnesota

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for set and exhibit designers in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. About 370 people are currently employed as set and exhibit designers in Minnesota. By 2016, this is expected to grow 10% to about 410 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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.

A person working as a set and exhibit designer can expect to earn about $22 per hour or $47,130 per year on average in Minnesota and about $21 per hour or $44,660 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for set and exhibit designers are better than earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Minnesota and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Set and exhibit designers work in a variety of jobs, including: stage scenery designer, television scenic design supervisor, and museum curator.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the St. Paul area, including eight within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree to start your career 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 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 St. Paul 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.
  • 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

Academy College - Minneapolis, MN

Academy College, 1101 E. 78th Street, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55420-1554. Academy College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 186 students and an admission rate of 100%. Academy College has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Design and Visual Communications which graduated zero, three, and four students respectively in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Richfield, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1401 W 76 St, Richfield, MN 55423. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Richfield, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,479 students and an admission rate of 87%. Minnesota School of Business has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 741 students and an admission rate of 57%. Minneapolis College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated fifty-seven students in 2008.

College of Visual Arts - Saint Paul, MN

College of Visual Arts, 344 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102-2199. College of Visual Arts is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 195 students. College of Visual Arts has a bachelor's degree program in Illustration which graduated two students in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie - Eden Prairie, MN

ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie, 8911 Columbine Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie is a small school located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 612 students and an admission rate of 36%. ITT Technical Institute-Eden Prairie has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.

Brown College - Mendota Heights, MN

Brown College, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1004. Brown College is a small college located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,231 students. Brown College has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.