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Fashion Designer Salary

The average Fashion Designer in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $60K per year. The bottom of the pay range sits near $35K, and the top verges on $99K per year. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is career duration, though the particular city and the specific company have a (lesser) impact as well. For the most part, Fashion Designers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — between a fifth and a fourth lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and the greater part receive dental plans. Women account for the majority of Fashion Designers who took the survey — 90 percent to be exact. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$36,878 - $95,597
(Median)
$37K
$60K
$96K
MEDIAN: $59,584
10%
50%
90%

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$11.00 - $45.15
(Median)
$11
$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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$36,878 - $95,597  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,061  
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).
)
$34,888 - $98,691  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 908
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$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$11.00 - $45.15  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $60.40  
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 - $10,061  
   
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).
)
$34,888 - $98,691  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 131

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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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Fashion Designers who move on to become Senior Fashion Designers may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Fashion Designers get paid an average of $89K per year. Going from Fashion Designer to Chief Fashion Designer is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $89K. Many others choose to work as Apparel Technical Designers, where pay is typically $52K.

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 results show that Fashion Designers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Technical Specification, Product Development, Design, and Adobe Illustrator are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Excel, Patternmaking, and Illustration. Most people skilled in Adobe Illustrator are similarly competent 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 who reported more years of relevant experience also reported 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. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $77K in this role. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $97K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Fashion Designers in Philadelphia enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Fashion Designers will also find cushy salaries in Portland (+15 percent), San Francisco (+12 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Boston (+10 percent). Fashion Designers in Chicago report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 32 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. St. Louis and San Diego are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 24 percent lower and 21 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Fashion Designer Salaries




National Average
$59,000


Skills That Affect Fashion Designer Salaries

Technical Specification
up arrow 18%

Product Development
up arrow 7%

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%


Microsoft Excel
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 201 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
41%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 76% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 22%
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