Fashion Designers

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Creative: 99
  • Social: 58
  • Purpose: 52
  • Analytical: 41
  • Supported: 32

What Fashion Designers Do

Fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they designed.

Work Environment

Fashion designers work in wholesale or manufacturing establishments, apparel companies, retailers, theater or dance companies, and design firms. Most fashion designers work in New York and California.

How to Become a Fashion Designer

Most fashion designers have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as fashion design or fashion merchandising. Employers usually seek applicants with creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of the production process for clothing, accessories, or footwear.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Designers

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of fashion designers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Declining employment in the apparel manufacturing industry is slowing the overall employment growth of fashion designers.

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    Growth & Trends

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    This occupation supported 22,300 jobs in 2012 and 23,100 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 3.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to decrease by 2.7% in 2022 to 21,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 22,100, compared with an observed value of 23,100, 4.5% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 3.1% in 2024 to 23,800 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 21,500 jobs for 2024, 9.7% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.