Costume Designer Salary
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.
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.Read More...
Some positions require college schooling relating to design, while others will rely on a portfolio in order to recognize talent. The costume designer may be given some guidelines about how to create the costume. Some guidelines must be strictly adhered to. Others will be more general and lax, allowing the designer to show more creativity.
Another important aspect of costume construction aspect is to making sure that people will be comfortable when wearing the costumes. Therefore, a large knowledge of materials and their uses is essential. Though the designer may work as part of a team, much of the work is done independently, so it is important to be self-sufficient. Broad knowledge of costume types and trends are essential. Research skills are also important in order to determine trends and styles that will coincide with the direction of the team. Another important skill is being able to use computer programs to create designs, such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
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.