Design Jobs in the Film Industry

Those who enjoy or specialize in design of various kinds can find several careers within the film industry. Learn about some of the available careers, their job duties, education requirements and median salaries.

Design Career Options in the Film Industry

The film industry includes multiple design careers for professionals who create the artistic and creative effects found throughout a movie. These workers specialize in different areas of film-making, but their designs all come together to create a quality production. Below we look at a handful of the available design jobs in the film industry.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Fashion Designers $65,170 3%
Art Directors $89,820 7%
Sound Engineering Technicians $53,680 6%
Set Designers (including Exhibit Designers) $50,990 11%
Multimedia Artists and Animators $65,300 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Design Jobs in the Film Industry

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers, specifically costume designers, may work for movie productions to design and make the necessary clothing and accessories for characters in the story. For films, they often need to choose designs, materials, colors and embellishments that stay consistent with the visual style, time period and culture of the film. Costume designers must work within a specific budget and may make pieces by hand or oversee the production of the pieces. Fashion designers usually need knowledge of the clothing production process and a bachelor's degree in the field.

Art Directors

Art directors in the film industry design and maintain a particular visual style for a movie production. They usually work closely with the director of the film to ensure that the visual style stays consistent throughout the movie and then coordinate the efforts of the various creative departments working on different parts of the movie, such as costumes, props and sets. Art directors must monitor their set budget and ensure that deadlines for different projects are met. Most of these professionals have previous work experience in another art or design position and hold at least a bachelor's degree.

Sound Engineering Technicians

Sound engineering technicians work with sound design as they record and mix music and sound effects for films. They usually do this through special computer programs and equipment that may combine audio tracks to create the finished product. Another important aspect of their job in the film industry is to synchronize all of the sounds and voices with the correct actions throughout the movie. Depending on the position, sound engineering technicians usually need a postsecondary nondegree award, like a certificate, or an associate's degree.

Set Designers

Movies often require elaborate and detailed sets for the actors to perform on, and set designers are responsible for creating these sets. This involves understanding the movie's script and what will be needed for each scene and then planning out each location, the scenery, the floor plans and other details. These designers must also work within a strict budget and attend rehearsals to make any necessary adjustments or share information about the sets. Set designers usually need a bachelor's degree.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators usually work on animated films and are responsible for designing a wide range of animations and visual effects used in the film. They often begin their creative process by making storyboards to lay out the important scenes and researching any necessary background information. These artists then begin creating their animations and may make changes based on the director's ideas and feedback. Multimedia artists and animators typically need a professional portfolio and a bachelor's degree.

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