Costume Designer Salary

It's impossible to make it big as a Costume Designers in the United States; the average employee scrapes together only around $40K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. While nearly two in five report receiving no health benefits, a majority do receive medical coverage, and just over two-fifths have dental, as well. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Costume Designers making up 78 percent. For the most part, Costume Designers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$24,658 - $98,130
(Median)
$25K
$40K
$98K
MEDIAN: $39,663
10%
50%
90%

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$9.95 - $30.46
(Median)
$9
$15
$30
MEDIAN: $15.00
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
$24,658 - $98,130  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,304  
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).
)
$22,054 - $78,297  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 57
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$9.95 - $30.46  
   
Overtime
$0.30 - $72.72  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,304  
   
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).
)
$22,054 - $78,297  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 35
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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. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $31K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $37K. On average, Costume Designers make $42K following one to two decades on the job. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $45K.

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Experience Affects Costume Designer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%

Experienced
up arrow 11%

National Average
$38,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 22 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
35%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 59%
dental benefits
Dental: 44%
medical benefits
Vision: 34%
dental benefits
None: 39%
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