Fashion designers play a trendsetting role, creating original clothing, footwear and accessories from their own sketches. They may design their own patterns or create detailed plans for pattern makers and instruct seamstresses or manufacturers in how to make the products.
Typical fashion designer job duties include studying trends, creating collection themes, anticipating consumer demand, visiting manufactures and trade shows for samples, selecting fabrics, colors and embellishments, creating prototype designs and presenting design ideas. Fashion designers must also use computer-aided design programs (CAD), market their designs to retailers, and oversee every stage of their design production.
Fashion Designer Job Education Requirements
Many designers break into fashion with strong portfolios, which is generally preferable to any kind of formal education. A bachelor's degree in fashion design or merchandising, however, can help artists hone their skills and give them a better understanding of the role they'll be playing in the industry. Because of this, most employers look for fashion design graduates that have created an impressive collection of design ideas that best demonstrate their abilities and style.
Fashion Designer Job Market
Fashion designer jobs are on the decline, with the industry losing as much as 3 percent of its positions through 2022. This is due to the fact that most apparel is produced and sourced internationally, so apparel manufacturing is on a dramatic decline. Even so, fashion designers will always be needed for everyday wear and mass market retail.
Fashion Designer Job Salary Information
The median wage of fashion designers is around $62,800. Top earners are often employed by management enterprises and can earn as much as $126,000 with several years of experience. In general, though, the starting pay for entry level fashion jobs is closer to $34,000. Aiming to work in one of the top industries, such as specialized design services, apparel manufacturing and merchant wholesalers, tends to result in higher pay.