Set Designer Career

Set designers are quite in demand because of their skills, which focus on researching, conceptualizing, designing, and supervising the construction of a film set or stage, theater stage, costumes, and different types of visual aids. Set designers are commonly associated with film productions, television, and stage. Every aspect of film or stage production from creating accurate scale models to construction of sets and handling technicalities of lighting and sound are an integral part of a set designer career.

How to become a Set Designer:

Design skills and creative vision are the two most important pre-requisites for pursuing a career in set design apart from basic educational qualifications. The norm is to start from the bottom as an assistant to an established set designer and then climb up the career ladder. Aspiring set designers can also transition from other areas of expertise like interior design and architecture.

Set Designer career courses, training, programs:

A bachelor’s degree in art and design, architecture, graphic design, and fine arts is the minimum requirement. The bachelor’s degree can be followed up with specialized certification courses focusing on key areas of set design. One can pursue certification courses in computer aided design (CAD), camera and lighting, script writing, and visual arts and design among others. 

Set Designer career schools/colleges, education:

A bachelor is the most common pre-requisite for pursuing a career in set design. Accredited bachelor and associate programs and certification courses can enhance career prospects for a beginner. A bachelor degree program focuses on key areas like drawing, interior design, graphic design, visual arts, fabric and fiber, integrated architecture framework, and sound recording among others.

Top 5 colleges/universities:

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (ASU)

Center for Universal Design, North Carolina

Tisch School of the Arts (NYU)         

Set Designer job opportunities, salaries/pay:

The average salary for a Set Designer in the USA varies from $29,726 to $63,512 annually while the median expected salary annually is $45,329.

Category: Arts Careers

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