Job type

Set designer

£27k - £40k

Typical salary

40 – 42

Hours per week

Set designers design and create the setting for adverts, television, theatre or film production.

More info

  • Design and create the setting for adverts, television, theatre or film
  • You'll need creativity and imagination with strong practical skills like drawing
  • You could work on larger and more prestigious film, TV and theatre productions

Use creativity, research and time management skills to design sets for TV, films, or adverts.


  • Study scripts and discuss ideas with the director
  • Communicate your ideas to costume, make-up, props and lighting designers
  • Work out problems like lighting and scene change
  • Research historical, contemporary or futuristic details to get the right look for the production
  • Create effective designs within the available budget
  • Sketch design ideas to produce a storyboard
  • Build and photograph scale models


Your working hours could be long and include evening and weekend work. You could work in a theatre, in an office, on a film set, in a creative studio, from home or at a film studio. You may also travel to attend meetings with theatres or film and TV production companies. Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors some of the time.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with creativity and imagination, strong practical skills like drawing and 3D model making, excellent attention to detail, the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, and research skills.

You'll usually need an HND or degree in a relevant subject, like fine art, interior design, theatre design or 3D design.

Several universities, colleges and drama schools also offer courses in performing arts production or design for film and television.

You could also learn some of the skills you need for this job through a college course like a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Production Arts.

You could start as a set designer's assistant, art department trainee or a prop maker or runner in film or TV and work your way up.

Alternitively, you may be able to get into this job through a creative and digital media advanced apprenticeship.

You should find practical experience and build a portfolio of your design work to show to potential employers. You can get relevant experience by getting involved in student theatre or film, local amateur or community theatre and low-budget independent films. A DVD or online portfolio showcasing sets you've designed for amateur theatre, school plays or films would be useful.


With experience, you could work on larger and more prestigious film, TV and theatre productions.