Fashion Designer Salary

For Fashion Designers, annual average wages total $59K per year. Total cash compensation to Fashion Designers ranges from $35K on the lower end to $99K on the higher end; the final number includes potential for approximately $10K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by career length, but the particular city and the specific company are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Fashion Designers. There are far more female Fashion Designers who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 90 percent. While some workers in this profession — about a fifth — do not have any health coverage, a fair number do receive medical benefits and a majority have dental insurance. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$36,680 - $94,891
(Median)
$37K
$59K
$95K
MEDIAN: $59,441
10%
50%
90%

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$11.05 - $45.62
(Median)
$11
$20
$46
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
$36,680 - $94,891  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,149  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $10,137  
Commission
$0.00 - $19,442  
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).
)
$34,964 - $98,861  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 915
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
$11.05 - $45.62  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $60.30  
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 - $10,149  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $19,442  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $10,137  
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).
)
$34,964 - $98,861  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 132

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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. With an annual salary of $88K, Chief 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


Fashion Designers flock to JCPenney for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $82K lead the pack in compensation.

Popular Skills for Fashion Designer


Fashion Designers seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Technical Specification, Design, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $48K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $65K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $77K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $97K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Fashion Designers, Philadelphia provides a pay rate that is 30 percent greater than the national average. Fashion Designers will also find cushy salaries in Portland (+16 percent), San Francisco (+14 percent), New York (+10 percent), and Boston (+8 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Chicago Fashion Designers earning much less — 32 percent less — than the national average. Employers pay around 24 percent less in St. Louis and 21 percent less in San Diego, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Fashion Designer Salaries




National Average
$59,000


Skills That Affect Fashion Designer Salaries

Technical Specification
up arrow 19%

Design
up arrow 3%

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 212 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: 77% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 21%