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Fashion Designer Salary

Fashion Designers in the United States can expect wages of $60K annually on average. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $35K and $99K per year. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography and the specific company. Although roughly a fifth lack health benefits of any kind, a strong majority do enjoy medical insurance, and more than half get dental coverage, too. Fashion Designers who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 90 percent. For the most part, Fashion Designers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$36,906 - $96,263
(Median)
$37K
$60K
$96K
MEDIAN: $59,585
10%
50%
90%

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$11.39 - $45.21
(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$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$36,906 - $96,263  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,098  
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).
)
$34,912 - $99,192  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 902
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
$11.39 - $45.21  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $42.89  
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 - $10,098  
   
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).
)
$34,912 - $99,192  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 134

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United States (change)


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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 might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Senior Fashion Designer, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $89K per year. A Chief Fashion Designer role is the most common promotion for Fashion Designers moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $89K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Fashion Designers is an Apparel Technical Designer position, where earnings are usually $52K.

Fashion Designer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Fashion Designer


For Fashion Designers, comfortable salaries can be found at JCPenney; in fact, median earnings sit around $82K, the highest in the area.

Popular Skills for Fashion Designer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Technical Specification, Product Development, Design, and Adobe Illustrator are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Excel, Patternmaking, and Adobe InDesign. For most people, competency in Adobe Illustrator indicates knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Fashion Designer

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


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Fashion Designers. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $48K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $65K. For Fashion Designers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $77K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $98K.

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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Portland (+15 percent), San Francisco (+11 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Boston (+10 percent). Fashion Designers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Fashion Designers in Chicago bring in salaries that are 32 percent lower than the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include St. Louis (24 percent lower) and Dallas (18 percent lower).

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%

Merchandising
up arrow 10%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 14%


Microsoft Excel
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 198 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
41%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 77% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 21%
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