Theatre, Set and Exhibit Designers
Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Theatre designers design and create settings, scenic environments, properties, costumes and lighting for theatre, film and video productions, operas and ballets. (National Occupational Classification)
Set designers design and plan settings, scenic environments and properties (props) for theatre, dance, opera, television, video and film productions. Exhibit designers work with others to research, plan, design and oversee the fabrication and installation of exhibits and displays. (alis)
Theatre designers are employed by performing arts and broadcasting companies and by festivals […] and exhibit designers are employed by museums and retail establishments. (National Occupational Classification)
This profile includes information about Lighting Designers, Set Designers, Costume Designers, Exhibit Designers, and Theatre Designers.
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Canadian Occupational Descriptions
- O*NET Online - U.S resource for occupational descriptions and information
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information
- A Day in the Life: Set Designer - The Princeton Review (U.S.)
- Sokanu - Career info & videos (U.S.)
- American Association of Community Theatre (AACT)
- Theatre People: Lighting Designer, Set Designer
- Job Descriptions (see Art, Costume, Lighting, and Set departments) - International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 856 (IATSE)
- Discover your Future in Film and Theatre (see Arts 2021 Information sessions) - University of Manitoba
Exhibit Designers: Individuals who do not have formal art and design training may be hired as assistant exhibit designers if they demonstrate a strong design ability and a willingness to learn. However, employers generally prefer to hire people who have post-secondary education in exhibit design or a related field such as industrial design, architecture, drafting, construction or interior design. Education or experience in fine art, graphic design, illustration, animation, web design, lighting, costuming or props is an asset. (alis)
Lighting and Set Designers: A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in fine art with a specialization in theatre design or set design is recommended. (alis)
U of M Academic Calendar
The Academic Calendar & Catalogue outlines program admission and course requirements. Use the left menu to navigate to a specific faculty and program. To determine which degree path suits your unique occupational goals, speak with a Career Consultant. For support with course registration and academic issues, speak with an Academic Advisor.
Faculty and Department Homepages
Visit U of M's faculty and department homepage to learn about program application deadlines and processes, as well as additional in-house resources and opportunities.
Exploring Other Education Options
Information for foreign-trained Theatre, fashion, Exhibit and other Creative Designers - Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
- Trend Analysis: Job Market Report (Winnipeg region) - Gov. of Canada Job Bank
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Job outlook for the U.S.
- Industry Reports and Analysis - On Screen Manitoba
Professional associations may organize events and provide directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities may also be available: engage, learn and network!
- Associated Designers of Canada (ADC)
- Experiential Designers and Producers Association
- Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT/ICTS)
- Creative Manitoba
- International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) - Global network for theatre practitioners celebrating design, technology, and architecture in live performances
Directories, Industry Associations, and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- Find a Designer - Associated Designers of Canada
- Contemporary Art Galleries Association - Galleries
- Galleries West - Galleries directory for Western Canada
- Association of Manitoba Museums - List of museums by name
- Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) – members
- American Association of Community Theatre (AACT)
Search occupations of interest in the industry-specific job boards below to learn about skill requirements, employers, job duties and available jobs. You may also wish to search more general online job boards.
External resources that will provide you with additional information about the occupation, areas of work and opportunities to build experience:
- Creative Manitoba: Careers in the Arts Youth and Young Adult Mentorship Programs – Opportunities for mentorship by professionals working in an arts or cultural careers.
- UWpg Film Festival - Film Festival that showcases the work of post-secondary filmmakers from across Canada
- Interview: Smithsonian Exhibit Designer
- Theatre Project Manitoba - University Representative Volunteer program and other services to promote the talents and skills of emerging and experienced writers, actors, directors, technicians and crafts people
- How Do Museum Exhibition Designers Do Their Job? – Slate Working Podcast
- Legend Library: Theatre Design (interview series with theatre designers) – Theatre Museum Canada interview
- The Black Hole Theatre (BHTC) and English, Film, and Theatre Students’ Association (EFTSA) – University of Manitoba student groups for those involved in studying and performing theatre
- Winnipeg Film Group - Artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema
- Film Training Manitoba – Manitoba organization providing education and free consultation for those interested in entering the film industry
- Manitoba Theatre Company - Design and Directing Assistant Program (information on mentoring program and grants for aspiring designers)
- Get on Set Manitoba – Website aimed at engaging Manitobans to support screenings of local films, informing them of opportunities in the industry and explaining what the industry does for our province
- World Stage Design – Event put on every 4 years by the Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians promoting theatre design and shows internationally
- Respectful Workplaces in the Arts – Government of Canada