Jobs, Career, Salary and Education Information (2023)

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Fashion designers create clothing, accessories, and footwear.

Work Environment: Fashion designers work in wholesale or manufacturing establishments, apparel companies, retailers, theater or dance companies, and design firms. Most fashion designers work in New York and California.

How to Become One: Most fashion designers have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as fashion design or fashion merchandising. Employers usually seek applicants who are creative and who have technical knowledge of the production processes for clothing, accessories, or footwear.

Salary: The median annual wage for fashion designers is $77,450.

Job Outlook: Employment of fashion designers is projected to grow 3 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of fashion designers with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a fashion designer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Fashion Designer Jobs

  • Fashion Designer - 2.7 August Apparel, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA

    We are 2.7 August Apparel , and we are looking for a fantastic candidate to join our team for the role of Fashion Designer . 2.7 August Apparel is an American fast- fashion clothing company that ...

  • Temp Senior Fashion Designer - REVOLVE - Los Angeles, CA

    REVOLVE is the next-generation fashion retailer for millennial and Generation Z consumers. As a ... This Senior Designer will be responsible for the research, development, sketching, development of ...

  • Menswear Fashion Designer (on-site) - Giorgio Cosani Inc - Commerce, CA

    Menswear Fashion Designer Job Description The menswear designer will help lead the product design & development in specific categories of men's tailored division. This position will lead the ...

See all Fashion Designer jobs

What Fashion Designers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they design.

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Duties of Fashion Designers

Fashion designers typically do the following:

  • Study fashion trends and anticipate designs that will appeal to consumers
  • Decide on a theme for a collection
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) programs to create designs
  • Visit manufacturers or trade shows to get samples of fabric
  • Select fabrics, embellishments, colors, or a style for each garment or accessory
  • Work with other designers or team members to create prototype designs
  • Present design ideas to the creative director or showcase them in fashion or trade shows
  • Market designs to clothing retailers or directly to consumers
  • Oversee the final production of their designs

Larger apparel companies typically employ a team of designers headed by a creative director. Some fashion designers specialize in clothing, footwear, or accessory design; others create designs in all three fashion categories.

For some fashion designers, the first step in creating a new design is researching current fashion and making predictions about future trends using trend reports published by fashion industry trade groups. Other fashion designers create collections from inspirations they get from their regular surroundings, from the cultures they have experienced and places they have visited, or from various art media that inspire them.

After they have an initial idea, fashion designers try out various fabrics and produce a prototype, often with less expensive material than will be used in the final product. They work with models to see how the design will look and adjust the designs as needed.

Although most designers first sketch their designs by hand, many now also sketch their ideas digitally with computer-aided design (CAD) programs. CAD allows designers to see their work on virtual models. They can try out different colors, designs, and shapes while making adjustments more easily than they can when working with real fabric on real people.

Designers produce samples with the actual materials that will be used in manufacturing. Samples that get good responses from fashion editors or trade and fashion shows are then manufactured and sold to consumers.

Although the design process may vary by specialty, in general it takes 6 months from initial design concept to final production, when either the spring or fall collection is released. Some companies may release new designs as frequently as every month, in addition to releasing designs during the spring and fall.

The Internet and e-commerce allow fashion designers to offer their products outside of traditional brick-and-mortar stores. These designers can ship directly to the consumer, without having to invest in a physical shop to showcase their product lines.

The following are examples of types of fashion designers:

Clothing designers create and help produce men's, women's, and children's apparel, including casual wear, suits, sportswear, evening wear, outerwear, maternity clothing, and intimate apparel.

Footwear designers create and help produce different styles of shoes and boots. As new materials, such as lightweight synthetic materials used in shoe soles, become available, footwear designers produce new designs that combine comfort, form, and function.

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Accessory designers design and produce items such as handbags, suitcases, belts, scarves, hats, hosiery, and eyewear.

Costume designers design costumes for the performing arts and for motion picture and television productions. They research the styles worn during the period in which the performance takes place, or they work with directors to select and create appropriate attire. They also must stay within the costume budget for the particular production.

Work Environment for Fashion Designers[About this section] [To Top]

Fashion designers hold about 22,400 jobs. The largest employers of fashion designers are as follows:

Apparel, piece goods, and notions merchant wholesalers 35%
Management of companies and enterprises 18%
Self-employed workers 12%
Apparel manufacturing 9%
Motion picture and video industries 2%

Many fashion designers work in-house for wholesalers or manufacturers that sell lines of apparel and accessories to retailers or other marketers for distribution to individual stores, catalog companies, or online retailers.

Self-employed fashion designers typically design high-fashion garments and one-of-a-kind apparel on an individualized or custom basis. In some cases, a self-employed fashion designer may have a clothing line that bears his or her name.

Most designers travel several times a year to trade and fashion shows to learn about the latest fashion trends. Designers also sometimes travel to other countries to meet suppliers of materials and manufacturers who produce the final products.

Most fashion designers work in New York and California.

Fashion Designer Work Schedules

Fashion designers occasionally work many hours to meet production deadlines or prepare for fashion shows. Designers who freelance generally work under a contract and tend to work longer hours and adjust their workday to their clients' schedules and deadlines.

How to Become a Fashion Designer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Fashion Designers near you!

Many fashion designers have a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as fashion design or fashion merchandising. Employers usually seek applicants with creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of the production process for clothing, accessories, or footwear.

Education for Fashion Designers

Many fashion designers have a bachelor's degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising. In these programs, students learn about textiles and fabrics and how to use computer-aided design (CAD) technology. They also work on projects they can add to their portfolio, which showcases their designs.

For many artists, including fashion designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer's portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual. For employers, it is an opportunity to gauge talent and creativity. Students studying fashion design often have opportunities to enter their designs in student or amateur contests, helping them to develop their portfolios.

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The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits approximately 350 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design, and many of these schools award degrees in fashion design. Many schools require students to have completed basic art and design courses before they enter a program. Applicants usually have to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Other Experience for Fashion Designers

Fashion designers often gain their initial experience in the fashion industry through internships or by working as an assistant designer. Internships provide aspiring fashion designers an opportunity to experience the design process, building their knowledge of textiles and colors and of how the industry works.

Important Qualities for Fashion Designers

Artistic ability. Fashion designers sketch their initial design ideas, which are used later to create prototypes. Designers must be able to express their vision for the design through illustration.

Communication skills. Fashion designers often work in teams throughout the design process and therefore must be effective in communicating with their team members. For example, they may need to give instructions to sewers regarding how a garment should be constructed.

Computer skills. Fashion designers must be able to use computer-aided design (CAD) programs and be familiar with graphics editing software.

Creativity. Fashion designers work with a variety of fabrics, shapes, and colors. Their ideas must be unique, functional, and stylish.

Decisionmaking skills. Because they often work in teams, fashion designers are exposed to many ideas. They must be able to decide which ideas to incorporate into their designs.

Detail oriented. Fashion designers must have a good eye for small differences in color and other details that can make a design successful.

Fashion Designer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for fashion designers is $77,450. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,480, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $130,870.

The median annual wages for fashion designers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Motion picture and video industries $116,930
Management of companies and enterprises $80,600
Apparel, piece goods, and notions merchant wholesalers $78,800
Apparel manufacturing $63,320

Fashion designers occasionally work many hours to meet production deadlines or prepare for fashion shows. Designers who freelance generally work under a contract and tend to work longer hours and adjust their workday to their clients' schedules and deadlines.

Job Outlook for Fashion Designers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of fashion designers is projected to grow 3 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite limited employment growth, about 2,300 openings for fashion designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

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Employment of Fashion Designers

The increased demand for a constant flow of new fashion designs has been accelerated by social media influencers and by retailers advertising and selling directly to consumers online. Growing consumer preference for sustainable options in the fashion industry also has created a desire for designs that use eco- and vegan-friendly materials. However, there will be fewer opportunities for self-employed fashion designers, who are unable to compete with large-scale clothing production, limiting overall employment growth of these workers.

Employment projections data for Fashion Designers, 2021-31
Occupational Title Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31
Percent Numeric
Fashion designers 22,400 23,000 3 600

Careers Related to Fashion Designers[About this section] [To Top]

Art Directors

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design of a project and direct others who develop artwork and layouts.

Floral Designers

Floral designers, also called florists, cut and arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers, containers, ribbons, and other accessories.

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers consider the function, aesthetics, production costs, and usability of products when developing new product concepts.

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers design, construct, adjust, repair, appraise and sell jewelry.


Models pose for artists, photographers, and other clients to help advertise a variety of products, including clothing, cosmetics, food, and appliances. Models also work as fit or fitting models, enabling the manufacturer or fashion designer to achieve the best fit for new styles.

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. Purchasing managers oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents.

More Fashion Designer Information[About this section] [To Top]

For more information about careers in fashion design, visit

Council of Fashion Designers of America

For more information about educational programs in fashion design, visit

National Association of Schools of Art and Design

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A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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What should you answer when asked for salary expectations? ›

State your range and provide a rationale for why you've landed on that range, sharing some of the research you've done and noting the skills and experience that make you a strong fit for the position. Acknowledge that salary is just one of the factors that will play into your decision to accept the job or not.

What is the best answer for salary negotiation? ›

You can try to skirt the question with a broad answer, such as, “My salary expectations are in line with my experience and qualifications.” Or, “If this is the right job for me, I'm sure we can come to an agreement on salary.” This will show that you're willing to negotiate. Offer a range.

What should I put for desired salary on job application? ›

What to Put for Desired Salary on Job Applications. The best way to answer desired salary or salary expectations on a job application is to leave the field blank or write 'Negotiable' rather than providing a number. If the application won't accept non-numerical text, then enter “999,” or “000”.

How do you list salary range in job description? ›

Use Bullet Points. Include the salary or salary range as a bullet point along with other factors associated with the job. Bullet points consolidate information into brief, concise statements so applicants can quickly find the information they need.

What is your desired salary? ›

Your desired salary is simply the total compensation you'd like to receive in a new job. This should be a realistic number but it's also totally fine for it to be a significant jump from your current salary depending on what you're applying for.

Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary? ›

It is simple: you can lose a job offer by negotiating salary if you make unreasonable demands or by going below what is expected of the request.

How do you negotiate salary expectations? ›

Express your interest in the job and the strengths you would bring to it before asking for the salary range. Make the employer feel confident you're there for more than just the paycheck. If they bring up money first, provide a range that leaves room for negotiation.

How do you respond to a low salary offer example? ›

Thank you for getting in touch! I'm excited to review the details when I receive the written offer. The salary is a bit lower than I was expecting, so I'll need a few days to see if I can make it work.

How do you justify the salary you are asking for? ›

How to answer the salary expectation question
  1. Research the average salary. ...
  2. Consider your existing pay. ...
  3. Consider perks and benefits. ...
  4. Make adjustments for cost of living. ...
  5. Ask for additional details (optional) ...
  6. Ask for more time (optional) ...
  7. Provide a range. ...
  8. Justify your salary expectation.
Apr 16, 2023

What salary range should I give? ›

A good rule of thumb is to keep the lower end of your range at least 10 percent above your current salary, or the number you determine is a reasonable salary for the position. For example, if you currently earn $50,000, you may say that your range is $55,000 to $65,000.

What is your salary expectation sample answer for experienced quora? ›

I answer it like this, “As an experienced professional, I expect you to make me an offer, but I am willing to give you my salary history so you can make an appropriate offer”. Do feel free to share your current and past salary and benefits, but don't ever let a recruiter talk you into giving them a number.

Should job description include salary? ›

Finally, in a more recent LinkedIn survey, 82% of respondents said that seeing a salary range in a job description would give them a more positive impression of a company. For talent acquisition teams, these data points suggest an upside to embracing salary transparency that goes well beyond compliance.

How do you say salary based on experience? ›

"Commensurate with experience" describes the salary an employer offers based on a candidate's specific criteria, like experience, skills, education and training.

What is my yearly salary based on hourly rate? ›

Multiply the hourly wage by the number of hours worked per week. Then, multiply that number by the total number of weeks in a year (52). For example, if an employee makes $25 per hour and works 40 hours per week, the annual salary is 25 x 40 x 52 = $52,000.

What is the #1 rule of salary negotiation? ›

So how aggressive should you be when negotiating salary? A good rule of thumb is to counter offer between 10% and 20% above the offer amount.

What not to say when asking for a raise? ›

That said, there are certain words and phrases that you should avoid when asking for a raise.
  1. "I Deserve a Raise Because I Have Been Here 'X' Amount of Years." ...
  2. "I Feel That…" ...
  3. "X Is Making More than Me." ...
  4. "I'm Overdue for a Raise." ...
  5. "I Will Leave if I Don't Receive a Raise of X Amount."
Jan 27, 2023

Should I negotiate salary with HR or hiring manager? ›

If it's the HR person that you're interviewing with, a potential manager, or a higher level executive, that's fine. Go ahead and ask them about the salary range. However, if there's someone within the organization that would be at your level or lower that you're speaking to, it's not advisable to ask them.

Should you accept first salary offer? ›

It really depends. Some people feel you should take the first offer if you're happy with it. Never negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. Other people disagree with that position and believe anytime you're given the chance to negotiate, you should.

When should I not negotiate salary? ›

Don't negotiate your salary until you have a firm offer. Don't try to get one company to match another company's offer. Don't rely on the estimates you see on a salary website. Don't fixate only on money.

What not to do when negotiating a job offer? ›

Achieve the Job Offer You Deserve by Avoiding These 10 Salary Negotiation Mistakes
  1. Settling/Not Negotiating. ...
  2. Revealing How Much You Would Accept. ...
  3. Focusing on Need/Greed Rather Than Value. ...
  4. Making a Salary Pitch Too Early. ...
  5. Accepting Job Offer Too Quickly. ...
  6. Declining Job Offer Too Quickly.

How do you gracefully negotiate salary? ›

Here are eight tips for how to negotiate a salary that can help you tactfully and confidently ask for what you want.
  1. Become familiar with industry salary trends. ...
  2. Build your case. ...
  3. Tell the truth. ...
  4. Factor in perks and benefits. ...
  5. Practice your delivery. ...
  6. Know when to wrap it up. ...
  7. Get everything in writing. ...
  8. Stay positive.
Apr 7, 2023

Do most employers expect you to negotiate salary? ›

In fact, a study by found 84% of employers expect job applicants to negotiate salary during the interview stage. If you're not convinced yet, know this: The hiring manager's on edge too when it comes to negotiating salary.

Should I negotiate salary if I'm happy with the offer? ›

If you're happy with the salary and don't think you should ask for more, you're one step closer to accepting the offer! You don't need to negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. Instead, be transparent with the recruiter and tell them you're aligned with the salary.

How do you counter a lowball salary offer? ›

Below are 6 ways to handle a lowball salary offer:
  1. Ask for more time to think about the offer. ...
  2. Negotiate for a higher salary. ...
  3. Consider the company's overall package. ...
  4. Negotiate for more benefits. ...
  5. Create a plan for performance reviews. ...
  6. Don't be afraid to walk away.

Should I accept job offer with lower pay? ›

If you see opportunities to move into a bigger and better role after the one you are about to accept, then it may be worth taking a temporary dip in salary. Another good reason for accepting a job which has a lower salary than your current one is the opportunity to gain some knowledge and skills.

How do you explain why you deserve a higher salary? ›

Reasons why I deserve a raise: what to tell your employer
  1. You do more than your job requires. ...
  2. You show initiative. ...
  3. You're reliable. ...
  4. You develop new skills. ...
  5. You mentor other employees. ...
  6. You contribute to the company's success. ...
  7. You have a positive attitude. ...
  8. During a performance review.
Mar 10, 2023

How do you dodge the salary question? ›

Another way not to discuss salary during an interview is by reassuring your interviewer that you're keenly interested in the job and are willing to negotiate. You can also tell your interviewer that you're open to considering the entire compensation package.

Why do employers ask your expected salary? ›

Employers want to know salary expectations because they have a budget to stick to. They want to be certain your salary expectations align with the amount they've allotted for a specific role. If most applicants expect a certain range in terms of compensation, the company may provide more budget.

What is the best answer for salary expectation in an interview for a fresher? ›

Sir, because I am fresher, for me, salary is not the first priority. This is a fantastic forum to launch my career, and I want to develop my expertise, skills and experience as well. So, due to my capacity and your business expectations, I expect a considerable wage that will satisfy my economic needs.

Should you tell a recruiter your desired salary? ›

Recruiters don't ask about your target compensation so they can low-ball you, but that'll happen if you answer the question poorly. Ultimately, they just want to make sure the company is capable of making an offer that would satisfy you, and they don't want to waste their time if that's not feasible.

Do I have to say my salary expectations? ›

If a job post asks applicants to state their expected salary when applying for the position, then give a range — not a specific figure — you're comfortable with. Answers like “Negotiable” might work, but they can also make you look evasive.

Can employers ask for salary information? ›

Employers in California cannot ask job applicants about their salary history. Moreover, if an applicant requests one, employers have to provide a salary range for the position.

Why do employers not list salary? ›

In today's market, companies also hesitate to advertise their compensation packages because it makes them vulnerable to their competition. Competing organizations could use salary information to win candidates by offering them more money or by targeting high-performing senior staffers.

Should you tell a recruiter your salary? ›

"An employer may have the right to ask for your salary, and it may be legally free to terminate your application, but you also have the right to say NO," Corcodilos advised. Job coach Mandi Woodruff-Santos agreed that it's best not to answer questions about your current salary.

How do you ask for salary in an interview? ›

How to ask about salary in an interview
  1. Research the salary requirements. ...
  2. Determine what is important to you. ...
  3. Ask to speak over the phone. ...
  4. Demonstrate your value. ...
  5. Know your worth. ...
  6. Try to delay answering the salary question. ...
  7. Provide a salary range instead of a number.
Sep 30, 2022

What are your expectations from the company? ›

Questions about your expectations for the company

“My expectations for the company would be to provide a work environment in which I can contribute to the team, I receive appreciation for my contributions, I have job stability and the ability to grow with the company.

How do you respond to a recruiter asking about salary? ›

Consider giving a salary range, not a number

If a job post asks applicants to state their expected salary when applying for the position, then give a range — not a specific figure — you're comfortable with. Answers like “Negotiable” might work, but they can also make you look evasive.

What to say when a recruiter asks for your current salary? ›

Applicants “should not disclose their previous salary but instead reframe their answer to express their salary expectations or requirements for the job,” according to Hoy. In other words, tell them what you expect to make, not what you're currently paid.

Do recruiters want you to get a higher salary? ›

Why do candidates negotiate salaries with recruiters? Candidates negotiate salaries with recruiters because recruiters are often their primary point of contact during the hiring process. Nearly everyone should consider negotiating the salary they are offered for a position, based on knowing their worth.

How do you talk about salary expectations? ›

To avoid confrontation, focus the conversation on facts and data. You can say, “Based on my research, the average employee in this role in our city makes [salary range]. Based on my background and experience, I think [this range] would be fair.” Giving a range can show that you're willing to negotiate.

Is it OK to ask about salary in a job interview? ›

Absolutely! There's no rule that says you have to bring it up first. Just make sure you're clear on what the compensation package is before you accept the job offer.

Should I ask about the salary before accepting an interview? ›

As a general rule of thumb, wait until the interviewer brings it up first – otherwise it's usually acceptable to bring it up after the second or third interview when the likelihood of a job offer is high.

Why should we hire you? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

What are your salary expectations meaning? ›

What are salary expectations? Salary expectations refer to the amount of money a prospective employee expects to be paid for the position in question. You may be asked about your salary expectations as early as the application phase, or further along in the process during a phone or in-person interview.

What best qualifies you for this position? ›

You can talk about skills from the job posting or your transferable skills. And you don't have to limit your qualifications to paid work. Whatever uniquely qualifies you for the position could come from volunteer work or from experiences at school.

What can you bring to the company? ›

Think about:
  • your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make your mark.
  • your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn.
  • the skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past – your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.

What is your career goal? ›

Career goals are targets. Things, positions, situations related to your professional life that you have set your mind on achieving. They can be short-term, like getting a promotion or certification, or they can be long-term, like running your own successful business or being an executive at your dream company.


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