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Performing arts

Exhibition designer

Exhibition designers work with organisations and individuals to turn their ideas into engaging displays.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; attending events or appointments

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% more Exhibition designer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • discuss requirements with clients
  • present your ideas as sketches, scale plans, computer-generated visuals and models
  • produce final blueprints after discussions with clients
  • handle orders for supplies
  • liaise with technical specialists like lighting staff
  • project manage the set-up process from start to finish

Working environment

You could work at events, at a conference centre or in an office.

Your working environment may be you'll travel often and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations
University

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.

Entry requirements

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
For more information
Work

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 work experience

You could volunteer to help set up exhibitions, for example with local arts festivals or in libraries.

This would help you gain practical skills as well as an insight into the project management that goes on behind the scenes.

Other routes

The British Display Society offers a distance learning course, the Certificate in Display and Visual Merchandising, which includes units on layout, design and lighting.

More information

Career tips

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.

Further information

You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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