Career Paths

Careers in Fashion

The world of fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry filled with opportunities. Whether you want to design clothes, be a fashion stylist, work in marketing and merchandising, or even be a model; there is something for everyone.

Career Information

Learn everything you need to know about careers in fashion with our comprehensive career guides.

Degrees & Majors

What degree is best for a career in the fashion industry? Explore top college degree programs here.

Salary & Job Outlook

How much do professionals in the fashion industry get paid? Explore salary and employment information here.

Fashion is a $1.2 trillion global industry with numerous career options that offer tremendous potential. From hands-on and creative careers in fashion design to business and entrepreneurial opportunities in the fashion industry at large, you can combine your love of clothing with your passion for finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, or any other academic discipline. Regardless of whether you are interested in pattern design, fashion photography, garment technology, or fashion marketing and PR, there is a fit for you in this industry. That’s because fashion is both an industry and an art form, which means there are endless opportunities for people with ambition and the desire to create something special for others.

Career Profiles

List of Careers in Fashion

Pursuing a career in fashion can be a dream job for many, whether you’re planning to launch your own business, work at a fashion company designing new trends for high-end clothing lines, or work as a fashion consultant at a major retailer. Regardless of what role you choose, there are many rewarding careers to choose from, and the options for those who want to break into the industry are plentiful.


A dressmaker is someone who makes clothes for women. Dressmakers are skilled at their craft and often design or tailor the clothes they make to suit the needs of the client. They typically have sewing machines in their workroom to make the clothes from fabric, but they also might use other skills such as needlework and illustration.

Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer

A fashion designer is a professional who designs clothing and accessories. They may participate in a range of different activities including the development of fashion concepts, trend forecasting, buying materials, sewing the garment or accessory, working with colorists and clothiers on draperies, and providing advice to retailers.

Fashion Model

A fashion model is a person who poses for fashion designers, clothing brands, and advertisers. They inspire new collections, set trends, and help shape what we perceive to be beautiful. Fashion models play a significant role in the fashion industry, as many of them are successful entrepreneurs off the runway as well.

Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist

A makeup artist is a specialist who applies makeups to actors, models, and other people on set or in photos. They are typically employed by production companies, fashion designers, or within film and television studios. Makeup artists may also be employed by special effects companies or by cosmetics companies in a retail setting.


Pattern Maker

A graphic designer is responsible for the visual appearance of any design or branding project. They may specialize in any number of disciplines, including but not limited to web design, print design, animation, illustration, and multimedia. The term "graphic design" is often used interchangeably with terms such as "visual design".


A tailor is a person who makes custom clothing and garments. A tailor does this by measuring the body and making adjustments to fit the measurements. This typically involves taking an existing garment and altering it to fit the individual that needs it or cutting down a basic pattern to an appropriate size.

Accessories Designer

An accessories designer is someone who designs and makes accessories, such as earrings, headbands, glasses frames or cases, bracelets, or rings. They are a creative member of the fashion industry and a part of the fashion design process, with their work being closely related to garments which they create.

Fashion Consultant

A fashion consultant does everything from styling a look for a private client to creating advertising campaigns for fashion brands, but they always have an eye for fashion’s hottest trends and what interests their clients. They craftcollections, style shoots, manage the logistics of product releases, even develop marketing material.

Fashion Merchandiser

A fashion merchandiser is responsible for buying merchandise for sale in retail stores. They purchase inventory from suppliers and conduct research to figure out what products will sell best in stores. They track shipments, communicate with manufacturers, and monitor customer feedback and salesnumbers.

Jewelry Designer

A jewelry designer is a professional who designs jewelry. Jewelry designers use a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, wood, and stone. They are usually trained in the design process and have expertise using CAD software. Many also have experience with various stones and precious metals.


A needleworker is a person who creates handcrafted or decorative items, such as embroidery, lace, crochet and knitting patterns. The practice typically involves using a needle and thread of fabric for the creation of the piece. The term is often applied to such people who make things traditionallyand primarily by hand.

Shoe Designer

A shoe designer is an individual who designs shoes (or footwear) for manufacturing or other purposes. Shoe designers typically design based on trends, materials, and the latest fashion; however, they may also be tasked with developing new shoe styles or designs, creating design specifications for manufacturing, and overseeing the production of the shoes.

Textile Designer

A textile designer is a person who specializes in the design of cloth and textiles. They specialize in fabric, yarns, weaving, sewing, dyeing, and printing. Depending on where they work, this can include designing homespun fabrics for individuals or designing fabrics for large companies or fashion houses.

Degrees & Majors

Best Degrees for Fashion Careers

A degree in fashion design can lead to a number of different careers in the fashion industry, and with fashion continuing to be one of the fastest-growing industries in today’s world, there is no time like the present to learn what you need. When it comes to finding a degree that will prepare you for a career in fashion, it’s best to start by looking into accredited programs that offer a wide range of courses and concentrations. These programs will give you a solid understanding of the overall fashion industry and then allow you to choose a specific concentration that will suit your interests and strengths.

Salary & Job Outlook

Fashion Careers Salary

The overall outlook for the fashion industry is very positive. The demand for new fashion designers is at an all-time high, leading to a greater number of opportunities being available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a fashion designer is $87,210, but this varies widely, depending on experience, skill level, location, and a variety of other factors. The range of salaries is typically between $54,470 and $ 101,700, with fashion designers in the 90th percentile earning over $ 146,300 per year. Listed below are the top-paying U.S. states for fashion designers.

New York$91,690$44.08
New Hampshire$84,990$40.86
* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, May 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Fashion Careers FAQ

If you love fashion and want to work in an environment where style and creativity are emphasized, then a fashion design career may be right for you. Fashion design is a multifaceted career that is well-suited for someone who loves to design and create new things. Fashion designers are challenged by changing trends, the marketplace, and the public; all of which require a broad range of skills to adapt to changes in these areas. While it can be competitive, a fashion design career can be deeply fulfilling and offers a variety of possibilities.

If you dream of having a high-paying job in fashion that also allows you to have creative control and express your own personal style, you might want to consider the role of an Art Director. An Art Director is the highest creative position in a fashion company or brand, giving them the power to express their own unique vision of the company or brand through design. The salary can vary widely depending on how big your company is, where you are located in the world, and how successful your work has been, but is typically one of the highest-paid positions in the industry. According to the BLS, Art Directors earn a mean annual wage of $114,490 and top earners enjoyed salaries of $199,250 or more.

People who studied fashion design in fashion school often find jobs working for fashion companies, but this does not mean that the fashion industry is closed to people without a degree. Earning a degree in fashion design can definitely improve one’s chances of getting a job in fashion and building a successful career. However, you will be happy to know that there are many fashion jobs available for people who are qualified but don’t have a formal fashion design education, so you definitely do not need a degree.

Feeling unqualified for a job is a common feeling, especially for those with little to no experience. And, it doesn’t help that most companies want to see experience or qualifications before hiring someone. However, if you’re looking for a new career in fashion, perhaps one with less formal training requirements than the average career, you should know that there are ways to get into fashion with no experience. To get your foot in the door, you will have to create your own opportunities. Start by building relationships with people in your field (networking), taking self-directed courses, and seeking internships (paid or unpaid). While not every company will be open to you right off the bat, there are ways for you to break into the fashion world if you have the desire and are persistent.