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Career and Education Opportunities for Set and Exhibit Designers in Arlington, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for set and exhibit designers in the Arlington, Texas area. There are currently 1,570 working set and exhibit designers in Texas; this should grow 29% to about 2,020 working set and exhibit designers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for set and exhibit designers, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. In general, set and exhibit designers design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets.

A person working as a set and exhibit designer can expect to earn about $19 hourly or $40,650 per year on average in Texas and about $21 hourly or $44,660 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for set and exhibit designers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Texas and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: design chief, exhibits manager, and art coordinator.

There are eighty-seven schools of higher education in the Arlington area, including four within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can get a degree to start your career as a set and exhibit designer. 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 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 Arlington 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.
  • 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

Texas Christian University - Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian University, 2800 S University Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76129. Texas Christian University is a medium sized university located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,696 students and an admission rate of 50%. Texas Christian University has a bachelor's degree program in Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology which graduated five students in 2008.

Brookhaven College - Farmers Branch, TX

Brookhaven College, 3939 Valley View Ln, Farmers Branch, TX 75244-4997. Brookhaven College is a large college located in Farmers Branch, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,173 students. Brookhaven College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated nine and eight students respectively in 2008.

Cedar Valley College - Lancaster, TX

Cedar Valley College, 3030 N Dallas Ave, Lancaster, TX 75134-3799. Cedar Valley College is a medium sized college located in Lancaster, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,223 students. Cedar Valley College has a one to two year program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated six students in 2008.

North Lake College - Irving, TX

North Lake College, 5001 N MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75038-3899. North Lake College is a large college located in Irving, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,174 students. North Lake College has a one to two year program in Design and Visual Communications which graduated three students in 2008.


Arlington, Texas
Arlington, Texas photo by Alienevil

Arlington is located in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 374,417, which has grown by 12.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Arlington are priced at $154,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred twenty-six new homes were constructed in Arlington, down from eight hundred twelve the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Arlington are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 30.4% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Arlington is 7.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Advent Lutheran Church, Pleasantview Baptist Church and Central Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Arlington is home to the Festival Marketplace and the The Parks at Arlington as well as Arlington Tennis Center - University of Texas and Doug Russel Park. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Budget Host International, Baymont Inns & Suites and Candlewood Suites for temporary stays in the area.