Set Designer


Potential salary $69,000

Set Designer

You know the phrase “behind the scenes”? As in, this person is crucial to the success of a larger undertaking but they’re not out front looking for the credit. Well, that idea applies perfectly to set designers, who are “behind the scenes.” These professionals design and integrate elements like decoration, background, lighting and props for film, television and theater productions. While most set designers’ professional journeys start in high school and college theater productions, the destination could be anywhere from a blockbuster movie to a TV studio to a local playhouse. It just depends what medium and work environment a set designer prefers. Are you more of a details person who lives to make sure the news anchor is lit exactly right, or does your taste bend more to a massive, romantic stage production? Either way, this position on a production team is absolutely crucial. Set designers are contributors who use their work to add to the creation of some of the most popular forms of entertainment . Set designers must be creative, detail-oriented, and adaptable, since they often have to work around many unforeseen obstacles. They must also have good spatial awareness, good technical skills, and the ability to work well under pressure. Their responsibilities include reading and interpreting scripts, assessing production location, and drawing/drafting designs for the sets. Set designers must also prepare cost estimates for building the sets, manage budgets, and choosing necessary materials. They must also meet with set building companies and construction crews, as well as attend rehearsals or film takes. Employers tend to prefer those with some sort of degree such as an associate of applied applied science, or bachelors of arts. Job growth for set designers is projected at 4% for the decade ending 2028.

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