Fashion Designer Salary

Median pay for Fashion Designers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $60K per year. Total cash compensation for Fashion Designers runs from $35K to $99K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $10K and profit sharing that can reach almost $12K. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city and the particular employer. Among survey respondents, women are more common than men; 89 percent of Fashion Designers are female. Most Fashion Designers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, just over one in five are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by the greater part. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$36,706 - $96,744
(Median)
$37K
$60K
$97K
MEDIAN: $60,271
10%
50%
90%

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$12.02 - $44.85
(Median)
$12
$20
$45
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$36,706 - $96,744  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,265  
Profit Sharing
$986 - $12,140  
Commission
$9,826  
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).
)
$34,926 - $99,465  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,024
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$12.02 - $44.85  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.61  
Overtime
$-0.49 - $58.17  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,265  
   
Commission
$9,826  
Profit Sharing
$986 - $12,140  
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).
)
$34,926 - $99,465  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 176
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Job Description for Fashion Designer

A fashion designer creates designs for items like clothing, shoes, and accessories. Prior to creating a prototype, the designer will create a sketch of the clothing. Usually, this clothing concept will then be presented to management, who will approve the clothing so that a prototype can be created. The fashion designer will often be expected to have sewing skills, in order to create the first clothing example. When the design is handed over to a factory or other clothing producer, the designer must oversee the process to make sure that the clothing meets quality standards of the company.

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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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At the upper end, Fashion Designers who move into a Chief Fashion Designer role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Chief Fashion Designers is a much higher $93K per year. More often than not, a Senior Fashion Designer role is the next step for Fashion Designers moving up in the field. Senior Fashion Designers usually make $88K per year. Many other Fashion Designers choose to take on an Apparel Technical Designer role, where salaries are typically $52K.

Fashion Designer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Fashion Designer


JCPenney offers the largest salaries in town — $82K on average.

Popular Skills for Fashion Designer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Technical Specification, Product Development, Illustration, and Adobe Illustrator are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 18 percent. Those listing Sewing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Merchandising and Patternmaking also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know 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 generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $48K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $65K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $77K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $87K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $59,444

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 13 percent, Fashion Designers in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Fashion Designers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+12 percent), Boston (+11 percent), Columbus (+7 percent), and Seattle (+7 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Fashion Designers is geography, with workers in Chicago earning a whopping 34 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 24 percent less in St. Louis and 21 percent less in Houston, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Fashion Designer Reviews

What is it like working as a Fashion Designer?

Fashion Designer in Baltimore:
"Accessories Designer."
Pros: I love the freedom I have as a designer and love the opportunities I have been given at Under Armour. I started as a graphic designer in 2011 at Under Armour, and since then have moved into a position as an Accessories Designer for the Women's team.
Cons: I currently am managing a ton of work and don't seem to be getting any help anytime soon. I also feel that I am not compensated for all of the hard work I do, also considering all of my organization skills and expertise.

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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%

Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 3%

Illustration
up arrow 3%

Design
up arrow 2%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 2%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
0%

National Average
$59,000

Technical Garment Knowledge
up arrow 3%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 7%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 11%


Merchandising
up arrow 14%

Sewing
up arrow 29%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 196 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
38%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
medical benefits
Vision: 41%
dental benefits
None: 23%
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