Fashion designers create the billions of men's, women's, and children's garments in the country, working for employers from large chain stores to small independent boutiques. Depending on their aspirations, they can design womenswear, accessories, menswear, lingerie, swimwear, formalwear, or footwear or can specialize further in categories such as maternity clothing or jewelry design. More than 22,700 fashion designers are employed in the United States, employed by department store chains, retailers, specialized design services companies, or as self-employed consultants.
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- AAS in Fashion Marketing & Management
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How to Prepare for a Career in Fashion Design
According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers prefer graduates from two- or four-year fashion design programs that have mastered a fundamental understanding of fashion trends, colors, textiles, fabrics, or jewelry. You can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in fashion design online, learning about computer assisted drawing (CAD) programs, patternmaking, hand-sewing techniques, tailoring, fashion history, materials buying, and human anatomy. Fashion design degree programs are indispensible, but you also need creativity, sales and presentation skills, and communication skills in working with others.
Fashion Designer Wages
The BLS reports that in 2008, median annual wages for fashion designers were $61,160, with top earners taking home $124,780 for the year. You can advance in the profession to earn more, taking additional classes in fashion merchandising or marketing to move into management roles at a design firm or fashion retailer.
Career Outlook for Fashion Designers
The BLS predicts that the number of jobs will rise by only 1 percent during the 2008-2018 decade, making the fashion design field highly competitive. You can improve your chances by completing an online fashion design degree and by gaining experience in the field.