A lot of set designers get their start working in theater. Set design jobs involve a lot of disciplines, like art, carpentry and engineering, and local theaters offer the most practical route to learning this trade. Some art schools also offer degree programs in set design, and recently, software packages have been developed that help in set design.
These programs resemble Computer Aided Drafting packages. Instead of being used to design buildings, however, they allow the designer to create virtual sets that can then be designed and modeled.