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Life As a Fashion Designer

Job Description: Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

Daily Life Of a Fashion Designer

  • Sew together sections of material to form mockups or samples of garments or articles, using sewing equipment.
  • Determine prices for styles.
  • Collaborate with other designers to coordinate special products and designs.
  • Research the styles and periods of clothing needed for film or theatrical productions.
  • Test fabrics or oversee testing so that garment care labels can be created.
  • Purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to complete designs.

What Every Fashion Designer Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Fashion Designers say are important on the job.

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.

  • Fashion Director
  • Design Director
  • Apparel Designer
  • Fashion Supervisor
  • Sweater Designer

Is There Going to be Demand for Fashion Designers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 23,800 jobs in the United States for Fashion Designer. 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.


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.

What is the Average Salary of a Fashion Designer

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


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Fashion Designers in different U.S. states.

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Fashion Designers

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:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Fashion Designer?


Who Employs Fashion Designers?


Fashion Designers work in the following industries:


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those who work as a Fashion Designer sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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