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Fashion Designer Salary, Career Forecast, Trends, and Training

Fashion designers produce the endless array of clothing, shoes, and accessories in the market, from mass-production factories to haute couture houses. They are responsible for bringing their vision for a design from a sketched concept to a realized product. The latest employment data shows that this career can be a lucrative opportunity for a creative and driven person with the proper training.

Fashion Designer Salary: 2009 Quick Facts

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual fashion designer salary in 2009 was $64,260, for an hourly wage of $30.90. Salary.com reports similar figures for 2010, with a median wage of $66,211. The top ten percent of fashion designers earned more than $130,900, according to the BLS.

Fashion designers working in specialized industries can also qualify for higher salaries. The BLS reports the following wages in top-paying industries: motion picture and video ($92,850), wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers ($92,700), and specialized design services ($80,720).

The following geographical data about fashion designers is also available through the BLS:

  • The states with the highest concentration of workers were New York, California, New Jersey, Vermont, and Maine.
  • The top paying states were New Hampshire, Maine, California, Connecticut, and New York, which all paid mean annual wages between $79,800 and $85,460.
  • The metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers were New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA, Columbus, OH, Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME, and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA.
  • The top paying metropolitan areas were Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT, Madison, WI, Nassau-Suffolk, NY, Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA, and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA.

Focusing on Fashion Designer Career Trends

According to the BLS, geographical shifts in the fashion industry are not expected within the next decade. New York-White Plains-Wayne, NJ, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA, and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA should most likely continue to be industry centers. New York, California, and New Jersey should also continue to be the best states for pursuing a fashion designer career. Furthermore, competition for jobs should continue to be intense in the future, with only a 1 percent increase in employment expected from 2008 to 2018.

Why You Need Fashion Designer Training

Formal fashion designer training can help you get the best jobs in this highly competitive industry. According to the BLS, fashion designers are increasingly reliant on computer-aided drafting, or CAD, in the design process. After sketching by hand, images must be uploaded to a computer to streamline the production process. As a result, employers are seeking designers with formal training in CAD, as well as other design fundamentals.

Fashion designer training online can be an excellent resource for aspiring designers who seek formal training to advance their careers. Courses are available in color, textiles, sewing, tailoring, pattern making, fashion history, and CAD and two- and four-year degrees are available so you can find the best program for your needs. Online training can provide you with the flexibility to attend classes when and where you want, on your schedule. You can even keep working full-time while you pursue an education. Find out how you can advance your career today with fashion designer training online.