Fashion Designer Salary

An average Fashion Designer in the United States can expect to take home roughly $59K annually. The bottom of the pay range sits near $35K, and the top verges on $99K per year. Career length is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and the individual firm are driving factors as well. The vast majority of Fashion Designers (90 percent) who responded to the survey are women. For the most part, Fashion Designers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Just over one in five of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a strong majority report medical coverage and the greater part claim dental coverage as well. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$36,972 - $96,411
(Median)
$37K
$59K
$96K
MEDIAN: $59,498
10%
50%
90%

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$11.08 - $44.87
(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
$36,972 - $96,411  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,127  
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).
)
$34,788 - $99,155  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 896
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
$11.08 - $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 - $10,127  
   
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).
)
$34,788 - $99,155  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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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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 $89K, 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


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 results imply that Fashion Designers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. 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. Most people familiar with Adobe Illustrator also know 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. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $48K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $65K. Fashion Designers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $76K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $96K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Fashion Designers, busy Philadelphia offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 30 percent above the national average. Fashion Designers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Portland (+16 percent), Boston (+11 percent), New York (+11 percent), and San Francisco (+10 percent). Compared to the national average, Chicago Fashion Designers have considerably lower salaries, 33 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include St. Louis (24 percent lower) and Houston (19 percent lower).

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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 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%

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 192 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
40%
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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