What Does A Fashion Designer Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Fashion Designers

Fashion Designers design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

Salary
$87210
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth
Low

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Fashion Designers design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

  • Direct and coordinate workers involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.
  • Examine sample garments on and off models, modifying designs to achieve desired effects.
  • Sketch rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and write specifications such as color schemes, construction, material types, and accessory requirements.
  • Confer with sales and management executives or with clients to discuss design ideas.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Fashion Designers examine sample garments on and off models, modifying designs to achieve desired effects. They design custom clothing and accessories for individuals, retailers, or theatrical, television, or film productions.

A typical day for a Fashion Designer will also include:

  • Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff to develop design concepts and plan productions.
  • Collaborate with other designers to coordinate special products and designs.
  • Provide sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and arrange for showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows.
  • Select materials and production techniques to be used for products.
  • Direct and coordinate workers involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Fashion Designers also visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics. They may also read scripts and consult directors and other production staff to develop design concepts and plan productions.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Fashion Designers determine prices for styles. They might also confer with sales and management executives or with clients to discuss design ideas.

In addition, they develop a group of products or accessories and market them through venues such as boutiques or mail-order catalogs.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them research the styles and periods of clothing needed for film or theatrical productions.

To some Fashion Designers, it is also their responsibility to adapt other designers’ ideas for the mass market.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

58% said they were satisfied with their job and 26% said they found their job meaningful.


I am a fashion designer, designing apparel, handbags, and accessories. My typical day Email responses Trend analysis to learn about upcoming trends, colors, textures. The design process starts over a year prior to the launch of the product. I draw from inspiration, choose a color palette, analyze fabrics, wear, feel, stretch, fit and choose fabrics … Read More


Sugarshirts

I’m a women’s clothing designer who’s designing flattering, comfortable clothes that are worn without a bra and without exposure. My day starts with reading the news. Local, national & world. Then I check in with my ecommerce marketing team to see what adjustments are needed and to review upcoming posts, contests & collaborations. The rest … Read More


Maria Elena Couture

What is it like being a fashion designer? I believe a designer is continuously at work. By that, I mean you look at your surroundings through your creative energy. You may be in a beautiful natural environment or even your own home and the lens is on. You may look at the green of an … Read More


Florescnt

My name is Marlene Solis, I am the founder and designer of sun protective clothing brand, Florescnt. Florescnt aims to further carefree lifestyles for individuals by producing UPF 50+ (SPF of fabrics) products. Throughout the last decade, I have applied my knowledge about fabrics, fit, and production methods to aid in the successful launching of … Read More


Being a fashion designer is extremely competitive and takes a lot of long hours. While the media today makes it possible to gain exposure, it also exponentially grows your competition. The design process would include a lot of boring tasks people forget about with creative jobs including budgeting, planning, expenditure tracking, order placements, and general … Read More


I Bambini Clothing

I am a fashion designer, my passion has always been in design! I got my first taste of clothing design in high school when we were not able to afford dresses at the mall so I designed and made my own with the help of my aunt. Then I was commissioned to design and create … Read More


Nic Hyl

In general, there are 2 types of designers; the type that works for a company and the type that works for themselves. At present, I work for myself. It is very difficult but very rewarding. The most difficult aspect of the work is running a business and all that goes with it, (managing people plus … Read More


BlckBtsFashion and Textile Design

Being a fashion designer is exciting, challenging, inspiring, and not what you would expect. I spend my days designing and producing my products as well as playing the social media marketing game. I strive to be size inclusive, use natural materials, and run a no waste studio. It’s super fun to plan collections and research … Read More


Ralph Lauren

Being a Designer is as exciting as it is draining. Designers are translators – we translate social dynamics into tangible items of clothing. The world is always changing, so we always need to be on alert, trying to find what the next path to newness is. Pros A big pro of being a Designer is … Read More


Sugopetite

Being a Fashion Designer requires many skills, besides sketching which is the most common perception of Fashion Designers. However, there is a whole lot more to it. At Sugopetite, we start our fashion designs with planning. Planning plays a big role because you need to align inspiration, creativity, materials, logistics, marketing, and business administration. Next, … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to follow routines.

Demand for this career is declining.

How much do they make

Average salary

$87210 per year

Average hourly wage

$42 per hour

Entry-level Fashion Designers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $38,570 to $54,470 per year or $19 to $26 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $146,300 $70
Senior (Top 25%) $101,700 $49
Median $75,810 $36
Junior (Bottom 25%) $54,470 $26
No experience (Bottom 10%) $38,570 $19

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Fashion Designers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing $110780 $53.26
Specialized Design Services $109320 $52.56
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing $91550 $44.01
Motion Picture and Video Industries $90790 $43.65
Management of Companies and Enterprises $89120 $42.84
Employment Services $88830 $42.71
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers $85260 $40.99
Clothing Stores $82010 $39.43
Apparel Knitting Mills $79840 $38.39
General Merchandise Stores $76640 $36.85

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Fashion Designers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Fashion Designers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers 7090 $85260 $40.99
Management of Companies and Enterprises 3600 $89120 $42.84
Motion Picture and Video Industries 2870 $90790 $43.65
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing 1640 $91550 $44.01
Specialized Design Services 1540 $109320 $52.56
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses 670 $76110 $36.59
Employment Services 440 $88830 $42.71
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers 320 $64520 $31.02
Performing Arts Companies 300 $57620 $27.70
Rental and Leasing Services 150 $55170 $26.53

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
3%

40 hours
69%

More than 40 hours
28%

Working schedule

93%

6%

1%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
13%

Every day
80%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
2%

Every day
40%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
59%

Every day
32%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
17%

Once a year
70%

Once a month
1%

Once a week
10%

Every day
2%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
1%

Slightly competitive
0%

Moderately competitive
5%

Highly competitive
80%

Extremely competitive
14%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
9%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
90%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
79%

Once a year or more
10%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
5%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
93%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
5%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
97%

Once a year or more
3%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
1%

High School Diploma or equivalent
3%

Post-Secondary Certificate
1%

Some College Courses
25%

Associate’s Degree or similar
36%

Bachelor’s Degree
24%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
9%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Costume Design

A program that prepares individuals to design and select costumes for characters in theatre and the performing arts and to serve as part of a production team. Includes instruction in costume design, script analysis, theory and criticism, period styles, history of costume, stage makeup, rendering, and costume construction.

Fashion/Apparel Design

A program that prepares individuals to apply artistic principles and techniques to the professional design of commercial fashions, apparel, and accessories, and the management of fashion development projects. Includes instruction in apparel design; accessory design; the design of men's', women's', and children's' wear; flat pattern design; computer-assisted design and manufacturing; concept planning; designing in specific materials; labor and cost analysis; history of fashion; fabric art and printing; and the principles of management and operations in the fashion industry.

Apparel and Textile Manufacture

A program that focuses on the design, development, and production of textile products and related processes and systems. Includes instruction in functional and aesthetic design, human factors research, production planning, manufacturing processes, quality assessment, and distribution systems.


Textile Science

A program that focuses on the properties and processing of fibers, yarns, whole fabrics, dyes, and finishes, both natural and synthetic. Includes instruction in the chemical and physical properties of textile materials; end-use analysis; interior furnishing applications; and industrial applications.

Fashion and Fabric Consultant

A program that prepares individuals to assist in apparel and fashion selection, style coordination, customer sales and consulting, fabric selection, clothing specifications, and contract buying activities. Includes instruction in supplying regular clothing needs or acting as a consultant for special events such as weddings.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
0%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
4%

1 to 2 years
20%

2 to 4 years
26%

4 to 6 years
46%

6 to 8 years
3%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
2%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
15%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
14%

3 to 6 months
18%

6 months to 1 year
26%

1 to 2 years
18%

2 to 4 years
8%

4 to 10 years
1%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

The Builder
57%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
24%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
100%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
33%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
86%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
19%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
81%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
76%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
67%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
57%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
29%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
76%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


Don’t know which career to pursue?

Take the career quiz to find careers that match your personality type.

Take The Career Quiz