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 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 says that on average set designers earn between $46000 and $54000 annually.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $50000
High Salary: $54000
Low Salary: $46000
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.
Also Called: Production Designer
Studio Designer
Stage Designer
Theatrical Stage Designer
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