Do you want to work as a jewelry designer?
- Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
- Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
- If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential designers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!
UPDATED: 7 October 2020
1. What is an exhibit designer?
Exhibit Designers create a display to communicate specific informative or educational messages of an aquarium, zoo or museum through the use of lighting, color, form, graphics, materials, and design elements.
The displays or exhibits can range from information tables, to actual interactive displays with props.
What is it NOT?
The use of the word “exhibit” is sometimes used to describe the actual enclosure or habitat that houses the animals at zoos, aquariums, theme parks. However, we have separated the careers, as also done by most of these institutions. If you are looking for a career where you can design and build the enclosures, please visit the Habitat Designer page.
2. What do they do?
Art & Design / Business
The focus of an exhibit designer is to use material to create a display that communicates specific messages to the public.
- Discuss brief with management
- Research the animal(s) to be displayed
- Making sketches by hand or on the computer of the display layout
- Estimating costs for materials and manufacture
- Sourcing suppliers, if required
- Assist in constructing the final display
- Assist in designing visual and reading material
- Create and add new work to a portfolio
- Administration and filing
Where they work:
Exhibit designers mostly work indoors, but may also design outdoor displays.
Places of Employment –
Most designers are permanently employed by zoos, aquariums, theme parks and museums.
The annual salary for exhibit designers is around US$50,000 per year. The amount will differ from country to country.
Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience. First year practitioners often begin on a part-time basis, fitting their training commitments around other work demands. Promotion to senior levels are available in all related careers. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:
Intern > Junior Designer > Senior Designer > Exhibit Curator
Designers normally work normal business hours, but they may work much longer hours when preparing displays. Tight deadlines can also be stressful. Most designers travel several times a year to shows and expos.
Future Growth and Possibilities:
Exhibit Designing has been showing positive growth for many years, as animal entertainment centers expand on the visual and interactive points within their layouts.
3. Which Skills are required?
The skills required for a career as an exhibit designer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Creativity and artistic skills
- Excellent drawing ability
- Fine eye for detail
- Strong visualization skills
- A good marketing sense
- Physical strength and stamina
4. Which Subjects must I have at School?
The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.
OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. These institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!
5. What will I need to Study?
The minimum requirement to enter this career is a College Diploma.
A diploma or degree that combines technical coursework with artistic and conceptual instruction, in addition to majors in animal related directions, such as zoology.
Short Courses –
Courses may include drawing, 3-D design, color theory, computer-aided design, exhibit construction, merchandising and portfolio presentation.
The duration of Diplomas are between a year and three years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.
Possible Career Preparation Paths:
If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.
Why is planning important?
To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.
Possible Paths (two of many):
Possible Combined Career Paths:
It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.
Stepping Stone Career:
Being an exhibit designer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).
You can begin as an intern designer after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.
Examples of some of the possible paths:
Training and apprenticeship:
Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.
In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.
Apprenticeship, especially in designing jewelry, is also required where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert. In most countries, apprenticeship can be as long as 5 years.
Join the Exhibit Designers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!
Average level of education of those entering the career:
6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations
Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.
Certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.
Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.
7. Where can I study further?
All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.
See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards exhibit designing.
8. Join the OZT community
Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an exhibit designer.
Members of the Platform have special access to:
- Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
- Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
- Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
- Make friends around the world and share knowledge
- Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!
If you have decided on being an Exhibit Designer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.
If you are not a MEMBER, then the link will take you to a registration page first.
If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.
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