Fashion Designer Salary

Fashion Designers in the United States take home approximately $60K per year on average. Earnings generally vary between $35K and $99K per year. While the particular city and the particular employer impact pay for this group, career length is the most influential factor. Although just over one in five lack health benefits of any kind, a fair number do enjoy medical insurance, and the larger part get dental coverage, too. Most Fashion Designers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The vast majority (89 percent) of Fashion Designers who took the survey are female. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$37,102 - $96,331
(Median)
$37K
$60K
$96K
MEDIAN: $59,521
10%
50%
90%

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$10.39 - $44.87
(Median)
$10
$20
$45
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$37,102 - $96,331  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,123  
Profit Sharing
$1,750 - $7,500  
Commission
$0.00 - $19,653  
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).
)
$34,729 - $99,013  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 907
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$10.39 - $44.87  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $42.57  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,123  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $19,653  
Profit Sharing
$1,750 - $7,500  
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).
)
$34,729 - $99,013  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 142
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Job Description for Fashion Designer

A Fashion Designer is a person who comes up with the creative ideas behind clothing and/or accessories. Fashion Designers are the ones who work up renderings and hold the overall vision of what the completed work should be. Fashion Designers usually have a degree in Design, and though the Designer is not usually the one who constructs the final pieces, a Fashion Designer almost always has been educated on how clothing/accessories are physically constructed. Without this knowledge, a Fashion Designer could not obtain a realistic view of what they want to design. Designs are traditionally started by the hand of the Designer via watercolor renderings, but more recently it has become essential for a Fashion Designer to have a strong knowledge of Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other computer software so that their designs can be transported in the digital world. It is essential for a Fashion Designer to know the market for which they wish to design. For example, commercial lingerie requires a more specific, customer-oriented mentality as opposed to the more open-minded and competitive world of high fashion dresses. When working with a company, it is also important for a Fashion Designer to be able to estimate how much it would cost to produce their product. They need to make sure that enough people will be interested in buying their clothing/accessories so that the company they are working for does not lose any money in the manufacturing process. As with most important jobs, a Fashion Designer needs to know how to keep up with deadlines, and a strong portfolio is a must.


Fashion Designer Tasks

  • Develop design ideas based on targeted demographic and preferences of management or clients.
  • Supervise assistants creating patterns and producing samples of articles of clothing.
  • Follow fashion trends by researching customer preferences, attending fashion shows, and reading fashion publications.
  • Draw patterns and specifications for articles of clothing, determining factors such as design, colors, materials, and methods of production.
  • Promote designs by displaying samples of clothing at sales meetings and fashion shows.

Common Career Paths for Fashion Designer


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There are some Fashion Designers — though it's uncommon — that transition into Chief Fashion Designers, where earnings are an average $90K annually. With an annual salary of $90K, Senior Fashion Designer is the most common role for Fashion Designers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Apparel Technical Designer role — which usually pays $52K — is also typical for Fashion Designers, though less common by comparison.

Fashion Designer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Fashion Designer


Heading up the field in terms of compensation, JCPenney offers the most; Fashion Designers earn $82K on average there.

Popular Skills for Fashion Designer


Survey takers working as Fashion Designers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Technical Specification, Product Development, Design, and Adobe Illustrator are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Sewing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Microsoft Excel and Patternmaking also typically command lower compensation. Those educated in Adobe Illustrator tend to be well versed in Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Fashion Designer

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


Fashion Designers with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $48K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $65K. On average, Fashion Designers make $77K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $93K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Fashion Designers that is 29 percent greater than the national average, Philadelphia offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Fashion Designers will also find cushy salaries in Portland (+16 percent), Boston (+11 percent), New York (+10 percent), and San Francisco (+10 percent). The lowest-paying market is Chicago, which sits 33 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers in St. Louis and Houston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (24 percent lower and 19 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Fashion Designer Salaries




National Average
$59,000


Skills That Affect Fashion Designer Salaries

Technical Specification
up arrow 19%

Product Development
up arrow 8%

Design
up arrow 2%

Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 2%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 1%

National Average
$59,000

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 2%

Illustration
up arrow 6%

Merchandising
up arrow 9%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 14%


Microsoft Excel
up arrow 17%

Sewing
up arrow 31%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 194 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
39%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 22%
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