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Set Designer

Careers » Theatre » Set Designer


Set designers create the environment and physical atmosphere for stage television or movie productions and sometimes for exhibits at museums or conventions. Initially they consult with production managers or play directors to develop an understanding of what type of design is needed for a production. After reading the script to get an idea of historical time period seasons and so on they prepare working illustrations and charts to illustrate the designs for various scenes indicating where various pieces of furniture trees or other props will be placed. In some cases they actually build scale models using materials such as cardboard or plaster. For each rendering they estimate the cost. After obtaining approval they work on getting the actual set built according to specifications. In addition to designing wall and floor coverings and selecting furniture and other objects they may work on the lighting which they may use to dramatize the set. Set designers have associate's or bachelor's degrees in visual arts or design studies. However on-the-job experience is essential. Those that aspire to this career often begin by working in low level jobs in studios often as assistants to experienced studio set designers. Set designers with experience using computer assisted design (CAD) are often at an advantage when seeking employment in this competitive field. According to the website httpcareers.stateuniversity.com the earnings for set designers vary considerably depending on skill experience employer and size of project. Some set designers work full-time for a specific employer such as a television production company whereas others work on a freelance basis and are paid by the project. Freelance set designers maintain resumes of their jobs to present when bidding for new projects. The website www.collegecrunch.org says that on average set designers earn between $46000 and $54000 annually.

Common Names: Set Designer, Production Designer, Studio Designer, Stage Designer, Theatrical Stage Designer

Avg. Salary*: $50,000

Salary Range*: $46,000 - $54,000

Job Tasks:

  • Designs sets for theatrical productions.
  • Studies scripts to determine the best set possible.
  • Uses computer aided design programs to help with set design.
  • Works with directors and producers to achieve the desired look for a set.

Other Online Resources:

The salary information contained on AllStarJobs is given in good faith and we use all reasonable efforts to ensure that it is accurate. However, we give no representation or warranty in respect of such information and all such representations and warranties, whether express or implied, are excluded.

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