Fashion Designer Salary Guide [2018]

Fashion Designer Salary Guide

Fashion Designer Salary

On average, the Fashion Designer salary is around $67,420 USD ($30/hour)

Fashion Designer Salary Stats

  • $67,420 MEDIAN SALARY
  • 23,400 NUMBER OF JOBS
  • Bachelor’s degree – EDUCATION
  • New York and California – Most Jobs
  • Weak Job Outlook, 2018-28

Income figures are intended as a guide only. Salaries vary depending on geographical location and type of employer.


Fashion Designer Job Description

Fashion designers explore fashion trends and sketch designs of accessories and clothing.

Fashion Designer Tasks:

  • Design of clothing and fashion ranges
  • Select fabrics and colours
  • Keep up with Fashion Trends
  • Negotiating with customers and suppliers
  • Oversee final production for the designs.

Focus on apparel or footwear for men, women, or children, accessories like handbags, eyewear, belts, hats, scarves, and hosiery, or all of these areas. It generally takes about 18 to 24 months for the design process to go from initial concept to final production.

Types of fashion designer

  • High street fashion
  • Casual Fashion
  • High Fashion

In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a mean annual wage of $67,440 for fashion designers.

Fashion Designer Salary Range

  • Highest 10% – $130,890
  • Middle 50% earned – $64,530
  • Lowest 10% earned – $32,500

Fashion Designer Industries

Top paying industries for Fashion Designers:

  • Fashion Houses
  • Video and motion picture industries,
  • Merchant wholesalers for miscellaneous durable goods
  • footwear manufacturers.

Fashion Designer Salaries by US State…

In 2018, New York and California were the states paying fashion designers the most, offering an annual mean wage of $87,810.


Fashion Designer Job Outlook

2008 – 2018 Projected Employment Changes
600 new fashion designer jobs
1% increase in employment

Between 2008 and 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be little or no change in the employment of fashion designers, with only one percent growth expected.

Many people are attracted to the glamorous aspect of this career and the creativity involved, causing job competition to be keen.

Firms involved in designing mass-marketed clothing sold through retail chain stores and department stores will have the best opportunities.

New York, California, New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida had the highest employment levels as of May 2018


Fashion Designer Education & Training

Career site O*Net found education to be distributed nearly evenly for fashion designers.

26% of the designers responding to a survey had taken some college courses but not earned a degree

36% had an associate’s degree

24% had a bachelor’s degree.

However, employers usually look for candidates with two or four-year degrees who have knowledge of fashion trends, ornamentation, fabrics, and textiles.

Some students combine a degree in fashion merchandising, marketing, or business with their fashion design degree, especially if they plan to have their own business.

Coursework focuses on fashion history, pattern making, tailoring, sewing, textiles, colour, computer-aided design, and design of specific clothing types. Approximately 300 postsecondary schools have design and art programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Many of these schools require a student to complete basic design and art courses before admission is granted.

Some fashion designers gain experience by interning with manufacturing or design firms or working as personal stylists, custom tailors, or at a job in a retail store.

Since fashion is global, experience in an international fashion centre like Paris or Milan make may a student more marketable. Those starting in the industry often take positions as sketching assistants or pattern makers for experienced designers.


Fashion Designer Related Occupations

  • Other workers in occupations involving art and design include interior designers and artists.
  • Art directors
  • Interior designers contribute to the appearance, safety, and function of interior spaces.
  • Jewellers and metal and precious stone workers design and create jewellery, cut, polish, and set gemstones, adjust and repair jewellery, and conduct jewellery, metal, and gem appraisals.
  • Models and buyers have different roles regarding fashion. Models pose while displaying clothing, accessories, and jewellery to encourage the public to make purchases. Buyers purchase services and goods like clothing and farm products for institutions and companies.

More information on Fashion Designers

Further Reading

  • Careers in Fashion and Textiles – Blackwell
  • Fashion Design – Watson Guptill
  • So You Want to Work in Fashion? – Hodder Wayland
  • Working in fashion & clothing – VT Lifeskills

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