Costume Designers in the United States are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $39K per year on average. Location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Costume Designers (68 percent) who took the survey are female. Most Costume Designers like their work and job satisfaction is high. More than two-fifths of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, just over a half report medical coverage and roughly a third claim dental coverage as well. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$24,483 - $98,036
(Median)
$24K
$39K
$98K
MEDIAN: $38,586
10%
50%
90%

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$9.74 - $29.70
(Median)
$9
$17
$30
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$24,483 - $98,036  
   
Bonus
$4,913  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,558 - $77,566  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 36
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$9.74 - $29.70  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$23.75  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$4,913  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,558 - $77,566  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 27
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Job Description for Costume Designer

A costume designer designs the wardrobe for productions like movies and plays. Costume designers are also needed for companies that sell or rent costumes for Halloween and other occasions. Often there is a budget that needs to be adhered to, so that it is up to the costume designer to be creative within these constraints. Some subsequent bargaining may have to be done with vendors.

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Costume Designer Tasks

  • Coordinate with the director, lighting and sound designers, and other creative personnel such as hair stylists and makeup artists in the design of each costume.
  • May teach classes in costumery, make up artistry, costume history, and millinery.
  • Design costumes for a film or stage production.

Costume Designer Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Costume Designer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Costume Designers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $30K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $39K. Costume Designers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $42K. Costume Designers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $44K.

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Experience Affects Costume Designer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 15%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$38,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 7 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 55%
dental benefits
Dental: 33%
medical benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 43%
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