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Fashion Designer

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What Does it Take to Be a Fashion Designer?

Fashion Designer Example Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

List of Fashion Designer Job Duties

  • Adapt other designers’ ideas for the mass market.
  • Select materials and production techniques to be used for products.
  • Sketch rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and write specifications such as color schemes, construction, material types, and accessory requirements.
  • Direct and coordinate workers involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.
  • Provide sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and arrange for showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows.
  • Purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to complete designs.

Qualities of a Fashion Designer

When polled, Fashion Designers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Costume Director
  • Fashion Director
  • Product Developer
  • Furrier Designer
  • Dance Costume Designer

Fashion Designer Job Outlook

There were about 23,800 jobs for Fashion Designer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Fashion Designer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,300 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Fashion Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Fashion Designer are Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Pennsylvania, Vermont, or South Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Fashion Designer

The salary for Fashion Designers ranges between about $36,420 and $155,470 a year.

Salary Ranges for Fashion Designers

Fashion Designers who work in New York, California, or Alabama, make the highest salaries.

How much do Fashion Designers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $98,380
Arkansas $61,800
California $95,250
Colorado $63,110
Connecticut $72,280
Florida $57,770
Georgia $72,010
Hawaii $50,800
Kansas $65,490
Maine $80,540
Maryland $64,500
Massachusetts $77,990
Michigan $62,070
Minnesota $52,540
New Jersey $69,640
New Mexico $67,960
New York $95,830
North Carolina $71,330
Oregon $75,710
Pennsylvania $54,840
South Carolina $75,110
Texas $76,240
Utah $43,610
Washington $66,600
Wisconsin $45,940

What Tools & Technology do Fashion Designers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Fashion Designers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Financial accounting software
  • Corel Painter
  • Autodesk SketchBook Pro

How to Become a Fashion Designer

Individuals working as a Fashion Designer have obtained the following education levels:

Fashion Designer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Fashion Designer Work Experience

Who Employs Fashion Designers?

Fashion Designer Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Fashion Designers work:

Fashion Designer Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Career changers with experience as a Fashion Designer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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