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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Columbus, Ohio

For those living in the Columbus, Ohio 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.

A person working as a set and exhibit designer can expect to earn about $23 per hour or $47,990 per year on average in Ohio and about $21 per hour or $44,660 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as set and exhibit designers in Ohio earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. Jobs in this field include: presentation specialist, scenic arts supervisor, and exhibit preparator.

The Columbus area is home to sixty-three schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Columbus where you can get a degree as a set and exhibit designer. Given that the most common education level for set and exhibit designers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn 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 Columbus 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.
  • 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

Columbus College of Art and Design - Columbus, OH

Columbus College of Art and Design, 107 N Ninth St, Columbus, OH 43215. Columbus College of Art and Design is a small college located in Columbus, Ohio. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,610 students and an admission rate of 71%. Columbus College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Illustration which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Denison University - Granville, OH

Denison University, 100 West College Rd, Granville, OH 43023-0713. Denison University is a small university located in Granville, Ohio. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,180 students and an admission rate of 38%. Denison University has a bachelor's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology.

Ohio State University-Main Campus - Columbus, OH

Ohio State University-Main Campus, 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210. Ohio State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Columbus, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 53,715 students and an admission rate of 62%. Ohio State University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard - Hilliard, OH

ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard, 3781 Park Mill Run, Suite 1, Hilliard, OH 43026. ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard is a small school located in Hilliard, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 635 students and an admission rate of 37%. ITT Technical Institute-Hilliard has an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications.


Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio photo by Xnatedawgx

Columbus is located in Franklin County, Ohio. It has a population of over 754,885, which has grown by 6.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Columbus, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbus cost $169,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Columbus, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Columbus are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is accommodation and food services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 29.0% of Columbus residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbus is 8.5%, which is less than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Columbus residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Hebrew Baptist Church, Heritage Temple Freewill Baptist Church and Higher Ground Always Abounding Assembly Church are all churches located in Columbus. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Columbus is home to the Busch Corporate Center Industrial Park and the J C Penney Catalog Outlet Store as well as Nafzger Park and Lower Scioto Park. Shopping centers in the area include Indianola Shopping Center, Ohio Stater Mall Shopping Center and Shapter Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbus can choose from Drury Inn & Suites Convention Center, Best Western Clarmont Inn and Crowne Plaza Downtown for temporary stays in the area.