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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Greensboro, North Carolina

For those living in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for set and exhibit designers. The national trend for set and exhibit designers 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 approximately $14 hourly or $31,110 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,660 annually. Incomes for set and exhibit designers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Art and Design in North Carolina, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Set and exhibit designers work in a variety of jobs, including: scenic arts supervisor, art and exhibits director, and display coordinator.

There are thirty schools of higher education in the Greensboro area, including three within twenty-five miles of Greensboro 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 Greensboro 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.
  • 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

University of North Carolina School of the Arts - Winston-Salem, NC

University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27117-2189. University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a small university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 881 students and an admission rate of 44%. University of North Carolina School of the Arts has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated twenty-seven and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

Elon University - Elon, NC

Elon University, 100 Campus Drive, Elon, NC 27244-2010. Elon University is a medium sized university located in Elon, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,628 students and an admission rate of 42%. Elon University has a bachelor's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology.

High Point University - High Point, NC

High Point University, 833 Montlieu Ave, High Point, NC 27262-3598. High Point University is a small university located in High Point, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,384 students and an admission rate of 74%. High Point University has a bachelor's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina photo by Yassie

Greensboro is situated in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 250,642, which has grown by 11.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Greensboro, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Greensboro are priced at $140,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seven hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Greensboro, down from 1,516 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Greensboro are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 33.9% of Greensboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Greensboro is 10.5%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Greensboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Muirs Chapel, Mount Tabor Church and Bass Chapel are all churches located in Greensboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Greensboro is home to the Holden Plaza and the English Market as well as Shannon Woods Park and Lake Daniel Park. Shopping centers in the area include Greenbriar Mall, Golden Gate Shopping Center and Carolina Circle Shopping Mall. Visitors to Greensboro can choose from Greensboro Days Inn, Execustay by Marriot and Biltmore Hotel for temporary stays in the area.