Exhibition designer

Design, arts and crafts

Career outlook for exhibition designer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would design and create attractive display stands for companies to show off their products or services at conferences and events.

You’d work with organisations and individuals to turn their ideas into engaging displays. The design would tie in with an overall theme or promote the company and its products in the most positive way.

You’d draw sketches and scale plans to illustrate your ideas. You’d use design software to create computer-generated visuals. You might also make models.

You could design displays for:

  • Large commercial public exhibitions like the Ideal Home Show
  • Conferences and exhibitions for education, trade and industry
  • Temporary displays for businesses, retailers, museums, libraries and galleries

You’d use graphics, props, multimedia, lighting and sound to make the most of the exhibition space.

You would:

  • Discuss the requirements with your clients
  • Present your ideas
  • Produce final blueprints
  • Order the supplies
  • Liaise with technical specialists such as lighting staff
  • Manage the set-up of the display

In smaller companies, you would oversee the construction of the components for the display stand. You’d also organise getting the stand put together and installed at the exhibition venue.

You’d need to be aware of health and safety issues.

Working conditions


Your basic working day is likely to be 9am to 5pm, but you may need to work extra hours to meet deadlines, especially when events are being staged.


Your work is likely to be studio- or office-based, but would usually also involve visiting clients or exhibition sites.


You would usually visit clients or exhibition sites. In some jobs you may need to travel extensively, in the UK and possibly overseas.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Time management
  • Developing a plan
  • Attention to detail
  • Working with technology
  • Verbal communication
  • Cooperating
  • Researching
  • Designing
  • Creative
  • Problem solving

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.


Employers often require a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree qualification (SCQF level 9/10) areas such as interior and spatial design, 3D or display design.

You can enter an interior or 3D design National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 4-6) with National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

To enter a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) (SCQF 7/ 8) requires National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or relevant NC/NQ.

Entry to an interior or spatial design degree (SCQF level 9/10) requires National qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at BBBC or above or a relevant HNC/HND.

Useful subjects

Courses often require

  • English
  • Art and design
  • Graphic communication 
  • Maths

Other design-centred subjects and social subjects may be helpful.

You will also need

You will need a portfolio of your work for applying to courses and jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show creative skills and industry knowledge such as Skills for Work Creative Industries (SCQF level 5).

Work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification or Diploma in Creative and Cultural Skills (SCQF level 6/SVQ level 3).