Job description

Exhibit designers create displays, erect fixtures, prepare objects and even restore items for a diverse array of events in museums, trade shows, exhibitions, galleries and libraries. They also identify and record these objects for proper arrangement in exhibitions.

Exhibit designers generally work exclusively for a private organisation, art gallery or public museum.

Duties

    • Work with clients, management or donors to discuss their theme ideas and other desires
    • Manage orders for various site services and materials, like electronics or equipment
    • Create a proposal and submit quotes for clients regarding the exhibit
    • Transport displays from locations to the exhibit venues and maintain inventory of every item
    • Prepare, clean and assemble objects for public display during the exhibition
    • Install objects, items or products throughout the event location
    • Attend regular meetings to provide status updates of current projects
    • Compose and present proposals for future projects and events
    • Update clients throughout the design process
    • Delegate and supervise staff handling, storing and mounting these pieces
    • Photograph every object for documentation and insurance purposes
    • Hold tours of an exhibit or a building for students or the general public
    • Identify and inspect different pieces during festivities to ensure they are properly taken care of

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Attention to detail
Creativity
Patience
Organisational
Analytical
Independence
Tech-savviness
Planning
Time management
Supervision
Active listening
Artistic
Communication
Teamwork
Self-motivation
Cad software

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Full Time

Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally

An exhibit designer will average 40 hours per week and generally clock in 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday in an office setting. That said, these hours may extend beyond 40 hours when special events take place, requiring the attention of the exhibit designer to prepare and design the exhibit and assist those who need it. These special events could happen at a library, new museum, art gallery or trade show.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$30k

Median

$54k

Top 10%

$100k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

High School

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

3months

No formal education is required to become an exhibit designer, although a bachelor’s degree (such as in interior design, art history, museum studies, marketing or business) can improve job prospects. Training is typically provided on the job, but you will generally need to demonstrate an interest in art or design.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

3%%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

4.6k

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

0.55%

Career progression

As an exhibit designer, you will typically begin your career as a junior designer. After several years of experience and building a compelling portfolio and detailed résumé, you can soon get promoted to management positions within the organisation you work for. Some exhibit designers who show a natural flair for exhibit design can become head of the institution, either internally or poached by another entity.