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Exhibition designer: Salary and conditions

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  • Salaries for exhibition designers start at around £18,000 to £22,000.
  • Once some experience has been gained, exhibition designers can earn £25,000 to £35,000.
  • With substantial experience, salaries can reach £45,000 to £55,000+.
  • At senior level, creative directors or design managers working in large companies in London could expect to achieve salaries in the region of £100,000.
  • Salaries depend on the size of the company or, in the case of freelance designers, the type of job. Freelancers are usually paid per exhibition or per day.
  • Working hours vary according to the employer but typically are 9am to 5pm. However, overtime may be required to meet deadlines and some evening or weekend work might be needed to build the exhibition in time for an event or exhibition opening.
  • In smaller companies, your role is unlikely to be solely design specific and you will probably be involved in some project management work. This will typically require good time management skills as the work may become stressful when trying to meet deadlines.
  • Self-employment and freelance work are common but are more likely after you have gained significant experience and have established a network of personal contacts.
  • Travel within a working day and overnight absences from home are common when visiting clients or exhibition spaces.
  • Occasional international travel may be required to visit clients overseas. Increasingly, however, designers maintain contact with clients electronically and through the client area of their website.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

Written by AGCAS editors
August 2015

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