Fashion merchandising is a career that encompasses a range of fields. Among the jobs are visual merchandiser, merchandise buyer assistant, senior buyer assistant, merchandiser buyer and senior merchandiser buyer. Retail jobs also play a big role in fashion merchandising. They are the first step on a career path that leads to other higher-paying opportunities.
Fashion merchandising fields include cosmetics, jewelry, clothes, shoes, perfume and sunglasses. Anything that has to do with appearance falls under this category. Merchandisers may sell or buy apparel and will have a hand in pricing the products.
A person interested in fashion merchandising as a career will start out selling clothes for a department store or a clothing store. From there, she may advance to management before working in the shipping and receiving department. The final leg of the journey includes working for well-known fashion retailers who will offer higher salaries and more advancement opportunities.
The average salary for fashion merchandiser, according to Simplyhired.com, is $47,000. First-time retail workers make from $7 to $11 an hour. As a person goes on to become a manager, the salary will increase to about $16 per hour, as of 2009. Shipping, purchasing and fashion distribution workers will pull in an annual salary of $25,000 to $60,000. Those working for top-level fashion stores will take home from $70,000 to $100,000.
Aside from working in clothing retail stores, interested fashion merchandisers are advised to take college courses to further their eye for fashion and to combine that aspect with astute business knowledge. People who wish to advance at a rapid pace should have a good grasp of the fashion as well as business side of merchandising. Typical classes offered to a potential fashion merchandiser include the history of fashion, business-oriented courses and consumer research studies. To obtain an executive position, those interested will have a much better chance of getting hired with a master's degree in business combined with a fashion-based curriculum.
Personality types that fit well in a fashion merchandising career include those who are able to spot fashion trends, arrange clothing displays in a pleasing manner, have the ability to work well with managers and executives, are good at math and are analytical thinkers.