Employment of set and exhibit designers is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment of set and exhibit designers who work primarily on designing museum exhibit space is expected to grow by 17 percent. As the number of private museums and of museums that specialize in a narrow topic area grows, the number of designers who are permanent employees of these museums also will grow.
Some set and exhibit designers serve as resident designers for theater, dance, and opera companies that produce shows year round. However, many companies prefer to contract out their set designs to self-employed or freelance designers on a show-by-show basis. This trend is expected to increase, in part because some producers find it more economical to contract for design work than to employ designers full time. As a result, employment of set and exhibit designers in specialized design firms is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020.