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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 80 $33,390
Mesa 80 $33,390
Phoenix 80 $33,390
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 2750 $54,380
Long Beach 2750 $54,380
Los Angeles 2750 $54,380
Hayward 230 $61,030
Oakland 230 $61,030
San Francisco 230 $61,030
San Diego 100 $48,170
Carlsbad 100 $48,170
Sacramento 80 $42,660
Arden 80 $42,660
Arcade 80 $42,660
Roseville 80 $42,660
Santa Clara 70 $40,220
San Jose 70 $40,220
Sunnyvale 70 $40,220
Oxnard 40 $35,390
Thousand Oaks 40 $35,390
Ventura 40 $35,390
Riverside N/A $37,060
Ontario N/A $37,060
San Bernardino N/A $37,060
Salinas N/A $57,080
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 30 $39,220
Aurora 30 $39,220
Denver 30 $39,220
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Haven 40 N/A
East Hartford N/A $36,640
West Hartford N/A $36,640
Hartford N/A $36,640
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Petersburg 60 N/A
Clearwater 60 N/A
Tampa 60 N/A
West Palm Beach N/A $48,790
Fort Lauderdale N/A $48,790
Miami N/A $48,790
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 430 $52,610
Sandy Springs 430 $52,610
Atlanta 430 $52,610
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 50 $44,870
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 50 $46,280
Carmel 50 $46,280
Indianapolis 50 $46,280
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 50 $30,120
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 70 $37,130
Columbia 70 $37,130
Baltimore 70 $37,130
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 50 N/A
Warren 50 N/A
Detroit 50 N/A
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 290 $40,370
Henderson 290 $40,370
Las Vegas 290 $40,370
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 50 $40,350
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 60 $42,300
Cheektowaga 60 $42,300
Buffalo 60 $42,300
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
High Point 30 $45,080
Greensboro 30 $45,080
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 170 $36,820
Elyria 70 $46,780
Cleveland 70 $46,780
Toledo 60 $23,130
Dayton 40 N/A
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 160 $36,760
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lancaster 40 N/A
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 40 $60,600
Murfreesboro 40 $60,600
Davidson 40 $60,600
Nashville 40 $60,600
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 290 $47,330
Dallas 290 $47,330
Fort Worth 290 $47,330
Sugar Land 130 $51,520
The Woodlands 130 $51,520
Houston 130 $51,520
Round Rock 40 $37,910
Austin 40 $37,910
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 30 $40,620
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 130 $57,480
Tacoma 130 $57,480
Seattle 130 $57,480
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 80 $45,650
Waukesha 80 $45,650
Milwaukee 80 $45,650

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.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
 
Results:  4
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Programs
  • Interior Design (BFA)
  • Graphic Design (BS)
  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
  • Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
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Henderson
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Programs
  • Media Design, Master of Fine Arts (Online)
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
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Programs
  • Graphic Arts (AAS)
  • Graphic Arts (BS)
  • Graphic Arts - Information Design (BS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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San Diego
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Programs
  • Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing
  • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
  • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
  • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
  • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
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  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Military friendly school.
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Los Angeles
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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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