If you obsess over your wardrobe, ogle at the latest releases from your favorite designers and possess solid writing skills, becoming a fashion journalist could be a good career move. Fashion journalists follow fashion news and report on it, in the process meeting fashion professionals and celebrities. It can be a glamorous profession, but one that requires skill and a willingness to work for free in the beginning to break into.
Fashion journalists perform a variety of tasks for fashion or general-interest publications. Fashion journalism jobs can include fashion editors, who shape a magazine's coverage of fashion issues, and fashion correspondents, who report directly on the fashion industry, as well as fashion shows and events. Those interested in fashion journalism can also perform a variety of tasks as market editors, who choose clothes for the magazine or publication, and photo editors, who organize and create a magazine's photo spreads.
The salary ranges for fashion journalists and editors vary dramatically based on experience and the magazine for which a journalist works. According to industry site FashionSchools.org, a fashion writer can earn a median salary of $47,000, while more experienced writers can earn up to $68,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook, shows that the middle 50 percent of all categories of journalists earn between $25,760 and $52,160.
Different magazines pay different salaries to fashion journalists, depending on the magazine's profile and the journalist's level of experience. But prospective fashion journalists, no matter what magazine they want to work for, should not expect these sorts of salary ranges in the beginning. Industry information site Fashion.net says that internships are essential to breaking into the industry and that those who hold these internships should expect to work for free. Internships are an investment in a prospective full-time fashion journalism job, but they won't pay off in monetary terms.
Both interns and full-time journalists may enjoy some significant perks on the job. As opposed to other journalists who have ethics policies against accepting gifts, full-time fashion journalists often receive free clothes from the companies and designers they profile. Both interns and journalists receive unprecedented access to fashion celebrities and professionals who possess valuable industry experience and connections that may benefit journalists who know them. The opportunity to work with high-profile fashion journalists can also provide a valuable education to those just starting in the business.