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Occupation Details

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Theatre / Television Designer

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

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Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

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€18k > 40
Theatre Designer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 40
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Theatre/television designers create or select exterior and interior scenes for theatrical or television/film productions.

Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Theatre/television designers design and supervise the creation of exterior and interior settings for theatre, television and film productions. Designers read and analyse scripts then make decisions about the shape and size of sets, colour schemes and scenic features.  
Designers begin by carrying out detailed research. If they are working on a period drama they need to find details about how people lived in the past.  
After the research stage, designers produce scale models and detailed working drawings called 'ground plans' and 'elevations'. Increasingly these will be done using computer aided design (CAD). These show how sets will look from above and from eye-level. Directors and performers can use these to determine entrances, exits and positions. Television and film directors can also use them to plan camera angles and to decide where to put sound equipment.  
While sets are being built, designers find, buy, or hire props, which they use to dress the sets. At this stage, scenic artists can add all the finishing touches. They paint backcloths, gauzes and floors, and create finer details such as paintings, tapestries and wall hangings.  
Designers work closely with directors, producers, stage/floor managers, costume designers, lighting designers, craftworkers and technicians.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to pay great attention to detail as audiences soon spot any inaccuracies. You need to be able to express your ideas clearly through the drawings and models you produce. You will also need a thorough knowledge of technical and production processes.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: The Arts Council of Ireland
Address: 70 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 618 0200 CallSave 1850 392492
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: National Theatre of Ireland
Address: Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 887 2200
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Institute of Designers in Ireland
Address: The Digital Hub, Roe Lane, Thomas St., Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 489 3650
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Abbey Theatre
Address: 26 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 887 2200
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Music & Performing Arts
Art, Craft & Design

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