Career Detail

Fashion Designer
Fashion designers help create the billions of dresses, suits, shoes, and other clothing and accessories purchased every year by consumers.
The Job
The design process from initial design concept to final production takes between 18 and 24 months. The first step in creating a design is researching current fashion and making predictions of future trends. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on trend reports published by fashion industry trade groups.
Work Environment
Fashion designers employed by manufacturing establishments, wholesalers, or design firms generally work regular hours in well-lighted and comfortable settings. Designers who freelance generally work o
College Majors
Bachelor's of fine arts and associate degree
Minimum Qualifications
In fashion design, employers usually seek individuals with a 2- or 4-year degree who are knowledgeable about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Fashion designers also need excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
Quick Facts
  • Almost one-fourth are self-employed.
  • In 2006, the highest concentrations of fashion designers were employed in New York and California.
  • Employers usually seek designers with a 2- or 4-year degree who are knowledgeable about textiles fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends.
  • Slower-than-average job growth is projected, and competition for jobs is expected to be keen.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,150 and $87,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,780.
Comments and Updates
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Sherita H.
7/7/2010 5:29:14 PM
I am a understudy fashion designer for a boutique firm in LA. I create sketches for our celebrity clients. If they like the sketches, they commission us to do the garments. It's the type of work that make people enter the field. After my first year I will be on full salary. YES!!! I didn't give the name of the company on purpose...the job is too cool. You create a dress and you see it being worn in a sitcom or move.
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