Working in fashion sounds glamorous and exciting. As someone who has worked in the industry, I can confirm that, yes – it’s exciting, but it also requires a lot of hard work and thick skin!
Are you ready to enter the hustle and bustle of the fashion world? Keep reading to find out which are the top jobs within the fashion industry. From graphic design to styling and writing, there’s a job available for every skillset!
25. Retail worker
Average annual salary: $27,320
As a sales retail worker, your main duties will focus on delivering great customer service. Besides assisting customers, you’ll also be responsible for keeping a tidy shop front, refolding garments and organizing different store sections. Working as a sales assistant is a great way to gain experience and break into the fashion industry.
24. Wardrobe assistant
Average annual salary: $27,540
If you love working with clothes and putting together outfits, then working as a wardrobe assistant could be an ideal career for you! These professionals usually work in theatre, film, and TV where they spend their days preparing looks and sourcing clothes that fit the actors and their characters. You may also be involved in costume fittings as well as cleaning and repairing clothing items for their next use.
Average annual salary: $31,910
Fashion models work with brands and fashion designers by wearing and promoting their items. They are the face of the brand, and their images are used prints and digital publications including magazines, websites, social media and billboards. To succeed in this field, you’ll need the right ‘look’ and should have a portfolio of pictures readily available.
22. Visual merchandiser
Average annual salary: $34,550
Visual merchandisers are responsible for styling window fronts, mannequins, and shop floors. They put together arrangements and clothing ensembles and follow the guide set by the organization’s head merchandiser. To get your foot in the door as a visual merchandiser, you could start off as a shop assistant and prove your merchandising skills on the job.
21. Pattern cutter
Average annual salary: $40,466
A pattern cutter works with the designer to bring their vision to life and are a key part of the creation process. They work with fabrics, materials and templates when the item of clothing is in the production phase, helping to bring it to life.
20. Fashion photographer
Average annual salary: $41,280
Fashion photography differs from portrait or landscape shoots. In this field, you’ll need to be able to direct your models and have the skills to shoot fashion-forward images. Besides photographing models, you’ll be required to shoot images of the garments, too. Successful fashion photographers have opportunities to direct big fashion shoots for magazines and work with high-end designers and brands.
19. Product developer
Average annual salary: $45,433
A product developer plans and creates fashion-focused products for retail companies. For example, a product developer could be working on a range of headbands for a fashion retailer. Their job requires them to work closely with the design team and ensure all prototypes are created as intended.
Average annual salary: $45,509
If you’re more of a numbers person but still want to work in fashion, you can! As a merchandiser, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that products appear in the right stores in the right quantities at the right time. This skill requires a lot of forecasting and monitoring of sales – perfect for all the Excel gurus out there!
Average annual salary: $48,846
Working as a stylist is exciting; you get to work in diverse settings and with different people; from retail stores to fashion shoots, you could be styling a number of different events during the day. Besides shoots, you can also work on a one-on-one basis with celebrities and other professionals. To succeed in this role, you’ll need great attention to detail and excellent communication skills to get a good understanding of who your client is and what their expectations are.
16. Digital media specialist
Average annual salary: $53,245
Are you well-read on the dos and don’ts of search engine optimization? Do you know how to promote a brand and increase awareness through digital marketing? If so, you could work as a digital media specialist for your favorite brand, helping them reach a wider audience, increase sales and create a strong social media presence.
15. Graphic designer
Average annual salary: $53,380
If you’re good with editing software and love fashion, then you could find a job as a graphic designer for your favorite retail brand. Day-to-day tasks will include marketing materials, editing images for websites or working on big brand campaigns.
14. Textile designer
Average annual salary: $56,062
Textile designers specialize in patterns for fabrics and upholstery. They use 2D designs that are woven or knitted into garments, carpets, fabrics and other items. Most textile designers usually choose between different fields to work in – those who work in fashion specialize in clothing attire.
13. Personal shopper
Average annual salary: $57,008
A personal shopper is responsible for selecting and purchasing items that suit their clients. To succeed in this role, you will need to have some styling experience and know what works for different body types and sizes. You will also need to understand and keep up with current trends to select something that is in fashion for your clients. If you already know what is in stock in high street stores and what is in line for seasons to come, then you could be perfect for this role.
12. Boutique owner
Average annual salary: $57,128
If you want to be your own boss, you could consider opening up your own store. Although it sounds glamorous, you will need experience in the industry and knowledge of how it works as well as a good understanding of buying, merchandising and selling. This will allow you to effectively run a successful business.
11. Fashion journalist
Average annual salary: $58.847
If you’re a skilled writer who is passionate about the fashion world, then a career as a fashion writer could be perfect for you! You could end up working for your favorite publication, going solo and creating your own fashion blog or even freelancing for a number of companies.
10. eCommerce manager
Average annual salary: $63,905
eCommerce or website managers are responsible for managing and maintaining a retail brand’s online website. They must ensure that the webpage is up-to-date and that customers have a smooth user experience on the site, which could encourage them to make a purchase. Besides maintaining the brand image online, eCommerce managers must also keep an eye on sales and the company’s online presence across different channels.
9. Fashion illustrator
Average annual salary: $66,511
Fashion illustrators work with designers and creative directors to make their visions come to life. Most illustrators use CAD software to create sketches of designs while others still use the traditional method of free-hand sketching. To succeed in this career, you’ll need to use your artistic and creative talents to create accurate and realistic drawings.
8. Retail buyer
Average annual salary: $72,270
As the name suggests, retail buyers are in charge of sourcing and purchasing stock before the new season begins. They use their expert knowledge and market research to make decisions based on their consumers’ preferences and behaviors and predict which items will be popular in the upcoming months based on latest trends.
7. Fashion designer
Average annual salary: $75,810
If you have a creative flair and artistic talent, you could consider becoming a fashion designer. As a designer, you’ll essentially become the mastermind behind the brand that you work for. Fashion designers are tasked with creating entire collections each season and oversee the project from start to finish.
6. Web developer
Average annual salary: $77,200
With numerous online stores opening their virtual doors, web developers are in high demand, especially within the fashion world. So, if you are equally passionate about coding and clothing, why not combine the two by pursuing this exciting career?
5. Trend forecaster
Average annual salary: $102,227
If you’re good analyzing data and have an eye for predicting upcoming trends, you could become a trend forecaster. By using research techniques and analytical skills along with an extensive knowledge of fashion history, you could land a career predicting what will be on the runway next season. A typical day would involve investigating what is popular in terms of colors, silhouettes and patterns and then reporting these to your clients.
4. Creative director
Average annual salary: $134,317
Creative directors are responsible for setting the overall theme for an upcoming collection and its marketing campaigns. Their role involves trend and customer research to determine how they can capture customers’ attention and encourage more sales. Creative directors work with the brand’s designers to ensure that they are following the same guidelines and that everything is cohesive.
3. Fashion PR coordinator
Average annual salary: $135,580
Fashion PR coordinators are responsible for maintaining a good public image for brands. They work with the press and influencers to create awareness and increase popularity for the brand, and occasionally defuse and tackle situations that could harm the brand’s reputation. While the roll seems glamorous, it could involve lots of late nights, attending press events and ensuring everything is running smoothly.
2. Garment technologist
Average annual salary: $145,909
If you’re well equipped in the design department, then you could also become a garment technologist. As a garment technologist, you will need to monitor the manufacturing of a product to ensure that there are no faults, and that the final product is at it was initially intended. A keen eye for detail is a must within this role.
1. Sustainability officer
Average annual salary: $184,460
Fashion’s considerable environmental impact has pushed numerous brands towards establishing more environmentally conscious and sustainable practices. As a sustainability officer within the fashion industry, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of environmental strategies within the company. Your role will involve extensive research and you will need to make important decisions that will help brands follow more sustainable practices.
While the number of roles in fashion are vast, they are also quite competitive. So, to ensure that you will succeed, make sure to attain valuable work experience and knowledge in the role you are interested in.
Completing an internship and enrolling in courses that will equip you with the necessary skills are both great ways to get your foot through the door of the fashion industry!
Which of these fashion jobs appeal to you? Let us know in the comments section below!
Salary information is based on data compiled and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed and Career Explorer. This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 31 August 2018.