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Exhibit Designers

Exhibit designers create fixtures, furnishings and display stands for events including trade shows, public exhibitions and conferences. They also create displays for museums, businesses and galleries. Some exhibit designers are employed by an independent studio. Others work for government agencies, museums and organizations that have their own design departments. Many exhibit designers are self-employed.

Increasingly, exhibition designers are utilizing computer aided design software to make designs. The designs are reviewed by the client and adjustments may be made. Their drawings, sketches and models are utilized as a guide for constructing the exhibits. They often supervise the construction of the exhibit.

Common job titles include exhibit preparator, exhibition organizer, display coordinator, design chief, show design supervisor and scenic designer.

Exhibition designers that work in the apparel industry design exhibits and booths for clothing industry trade shows and fashion shows. They also work with art museum curators and directors to determine the best use of museum space for displaying art and artifacts. Exhibition designers also create exhibitions for fairgrounds, libraries and malls.

Responsibilities

  • Plan for issues such as space limitations, safety concerns and traffic flow patterns
  • Produce final specifications
  • Present ideas as scale plans and sketches
  • Order supplies
  • Discuss exhibit ideas with clients
  • Direct the construction of components and the assembly and installation of exhibits
  • Collaborate with technical specialists
  • Plan where to place items in an exhibit
  • Estimate exhibit related costs
  • Inspect installed exhibits to ensure they meet specifications

Job Characteristics

Those working in the field of exhibit design often travel to visit clients or to exhibition sites. Exhibition designers should be artistic and creative. They need good organizational and management skills.

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook is rated as fair for exhibit designer jobs. The median annual earnings for set and exhibit designers in 2008 was $44,660.

The field is quite competitive. In large design firms, exhibit designers may move up to managerial positions including art director. They may become department heads in organizations that design numerous exhibits.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Exhibit designers come from a variety of backgrounds including interior design, graphic design, industrial/product design and architecture. Some exhibition designers have earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts or design. The bachelor's of fine arts program typically includes classes in principles of design, art and art history, and designing and sketching.

Some exhibit designers have an associate degree in design. Employers are increasingly expecting new designers to have knowledge and skills with computer aided design software. Those that plan to do freelance work may want to take classes in subjects such as marketing, merchandising, business management and project management.

Professional schools provide certificates and associate degrees in design. For some of the top jobs, employers may prefer those with a master's degree in fine arts. For some entry-level jobs, a two-year degree may be sufficient. Typically, on-the-job training is provided. Museums may provide internships for people interested in a career in designing exhibits.

Exhibit designers needs to have a strong foundation in topics such as computer aided design (CAD) conceptual design, making models, and safety regulations and applicable standards.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are the fashion industry, apparel manufacturers, design firms, trade show design firms and museums.

Schools for Exhibit Designers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Exhibit Designers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Exhibit Designers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 80 $31,260
Mesa 80 $31,260
Phoenix 80 $31,260
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 2320 $50,340
Los Angeles 2320 $50,340
Long Beach 2320 $50,340
San Francisco 200 $52,210
Oakland 200 $52,210
Hayward 200 $52,210
Carlsbad 140 $38,580
San Diego 140 $38,580
Santa Clara N/A $30,450
Sunnyvale N/A $30,450
San Jose N/A $30,450
Roseville N/A $47,220
Arden N/A $47,220
Sacramento N/A $47,220
Arcade N/A $47,220
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 60 $36,690
Aurora 60 $36,690
Denver 60 $36,690
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Stamford 110 N/A
Norwalk 110 N/A
Bridgeport 110 N/A
East Hartford N/A $36,150
West Hartford N/A $36,150
Hartford N/A $36,150
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 110 $44,920
Miami 110 $44,920
Fort Lauderdale 110 $44,920
Sanford 100 $25,090
Kissimmee 100 $25,090
Orlando 100 $25,090
Clearwater 40 $40,370
Tampa 40 $40,370
St. Petersburg 40 $40,370
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell N/A $50,750
Sandy Springs N/A $50,750
Atlanta N/A $50,750
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 50 $40,600
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 50 $45,980
Carmel 50 $45,980
Indianapolis 50 $45,980
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie N/A $37,480
New Orleans N/A $37,480
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson N/A $58,040
Columbia N/A $58,040
Baltimore N/A $58,040
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 40 $32,640
Warren 40 $32,640
Detroit 40 $32,640
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise N/A $46,390
Henderson N/A $46,390
Las Vegas N/A $46,390
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 70 $56,460
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 50 $44,270
Cheektowaga 50 $44,270
Buffalo 50 $44,270
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
High Point 40 $49,820
Greensboro 40 $49,820
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Toledo 80 N/A
Cleveland 40 $51,500
Elyria 40 $51,500
Dayton 40 $73,530
Columbus N/A $37,840
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 150 $35,040
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 60 $45,630
Lancaster 40 $39,970
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 100 $53,580
Murfreesboro 100 $53,580
Davidson 100 $53,580
Nashville 100 $53,580
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 280 $45,720
Fort Worth 280 $45,720
Arlington 280 $45,720
Sugar Land 160 $32,820
The Woodlands 160 $32,820
Houston 160 $32,820
Round Rock 80 $33,630
Austin 80 $33,630
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City N/A $34,160
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 40 $32,620
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 100 $53,420
Tacoma 100 $53,420
Seattle 100 $53,420
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 40 $37,350
Waukesha 40 $37,350
Milwaukee 40 $37,350

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Exhibit Designers

To find out more about building a career as Exhibit Designers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Exhibit Designers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Performing Arts And Sports 2,260 29% $33,110
Movie And Music 1,470 18% $59,060
Professional And Technical Services 1,220 15% $55,510
Museums And Historic Attractions 920 11% $39,770
Office Services And Staffing 600 7% $40,720
Government 510 6% $59,800
Education 400 5% $39,390
Media And Broadcasting 200 2% $51,160
Amusement Gambling And Recreation 90 1% $49,110
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Exhibit Designers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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