Exhibition designers work with organisations and individuals to turn their ideas into engaging displays.
Salary range: £18,000 to £40,000
How to become an exhibition designer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You’ll normally need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:
- spatial design (exhibitions)
- interior design
- three-dimensional (3D) design
- interior architecture
You may also find exhibition design options as part of some events management, and museums and galleries courses.
You’ll usually need:
- a foundation diploma in art and design
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to get into this type of work as a junior design assistant. To do this, you are likely to need a qualification in art and design, like a diploma or an A level.
You are also likely to need experience in using computer-aided design (CAD) software packages.
Volunteering and experience
You could volunteer to help set up exhibitions, for example with local arts festivals or in libraries.
The British Display Society offers a distance learning course, the Certificate in Display and Visual Merchandising, which includes units on layout, design and lighting.
You’ll need to put together a portfolio of your work to highlight your design skills to show at interview. Work experience would also give you an advantage when applying for training and jobs.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Chartered Society of Designers, for professional development, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming an exhibition designer from Creative Choices.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of the fine arts
- design skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- discussing requirements with clients
- presenting your ideas as sketches, scale plans, computer-generated visuals and models
- producing final blueprints after discussions with clients
- handling orders for supplies
- liaising with technical specialists like lighting staff
- project managing the set-up process from start to finish
You could work at events, in an office or at a conference centre.
Career path and progression
With experience you may be able to progress to a more senior position, like team leader or senior designer.
You could also become freelance, or set up your own company.