How To Make Money As A Set Designer

If you are talented at cloth cutting and designing, then you could probably take this to the next level by becoming a set designer. Wherever you see actors and actresses performing, be sure there is a set designer behind the scenes. Places such as movies, stage performances, or videos are not complete without a set designer.

Among other responsibilities, set designers have to ensure that the costume choices fit not only the characters but the overall ambiance and scene feeling as well. The beauty of this kind of job is that you do not need any formal qualifications to get started, as long as you are passionate about fashion and know your way around it, you will be good to go.


Read along and let us break down every detail you should know about this job. At the end of this article, you will be able to determine whether or not this job is for you.

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Duties And Responsibilities

Set designers are usually responsible for designing costumes and sets for movies and plays. However, they might be limited depending on the kind of theatre they are working with. The way you set the theatre will largely depend on the size of the stage and whether the performance is live or not.

Movie set and film designers often follow a necessary procedure whereby they first build massive sets, which they later customize with a bit of creative editing. This way, it saves them time, materials, and labor as opposed to customizing one at a time.


To get started, set designers usually read the script to get a clear picture of what they are working with. Scripts give a general description of the kind of settings and background needed. This, in turn, helps set designers to know which direction to move in.

Eligibility To Become A Set Designer

Although it’s possible to work your way up in this career, if you want to take your job to another level, then you should consider getting formal training. Just like any profession, one needs to keep refreshing their mind with current trends and new dynamics. This is attained through refresher courses, conferences, training, and other forms of learning.

However, some attributes in design are a must-have. Every set designer must be creative and inventive. These are attributes you don’t learn in school. During training, students usually get hands-on training through an internship or participating in theatre schools. When this formal training combines with the natural attributes of creativity and ingenuity, you become an unbeatable set designer.


Having excellent communication skills will also make you an excellent set designer. You should also be able to work under minimum supervision and still be able to deliver on time. In addition, you should be able to be flexible and willing to work under different circumstances.

Average Salary Of Set Designers

A set designer’s pay largely depends on which production house they are working for and which state they live in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, set and exhibit designers earn up to $26.56 per hour and up to $54,870 a year as of 2011.

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Bottom Line

If you are passionate about set designing, there is no reason why you should not take your passion to the next level. This is a great chance for you to support yourself financially. Do your due diligence, reach out to people within your circles, and before you know it, you will be living your dream of working as a set designer.

Also read – How to Become a Professional Movie Producer