Home Jobs & Education What Is the Average Fashion Designer Salary?

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) tells us that the average fashion designer salary for the year 2014 was $64,030 per year and $30.78 per hour. This equals to approximately $1,200 per work week (accurate data does not exist from BLS).

Although this represents more than decent pay on a national level, there is a very big difference between the annual wages for the lower 10 points percentile and the higher 10 points percentile. The lowest mean for an annual wage is $33,260, while the highest annual wage is at $129,380. As one can see, the latter estimation is almost twice the average fashion designer salary. It is to be deduced that the sum of $64,030 varies extremely depending on experience and skill.

Despite wage statistics being unavailable as to the fashion designer salary proportionality between men and women, we can look at the general salary for designers. According to BLS data from 2015, there were 291,000 women employed in this position, earning a mean wage of $918 per week. On the other side, men employed in this position numbered 301,000, and they earned a mean wage of $1,099 per week.

The following table shows us the average fashion designer salary in the highest paying industry areas:

Industry Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Management of Companies and Enterprises $43.28 $90,020
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing $39.73 $82,630
Employment Services $36.73 $76,410
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services $36.19 $75,280
Clothing Stores $34.37 $71,490

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Fashion Designer Salary by Location

As with most other positions, different states give a different salaries. On the other hand, there is a significant number of states that have a high employment rate for fashion designers. The highest paid fashion designers, according to the table below, are in New York. However, 2nd place is quite an uncanny surprise.

The following list presents the best paying states for fashion designer salaries in the US:

State Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
New York $38.89 $80,890
Massachusetts $36.96 $76,870
New Jersey $35.61 $74,070
California $35.23 $73,270
New Hampshire $35.20 $73,210


Still, Massachusetts may have a high mean fashion designer salary, but its levels of employment for this job are pretty low. Here are the states with the highest level of employment:

State Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
New York $38.89 $80,890
California $35.23 $73,270
Texas $29.11 $60,550
New Jersey $35.61 $74,070
Massachusetts $36.96 $76,870


Fashion Designer Salary Change over Time

Here are the ways in which a fashion designer salary will change over time:

  • Entry level fashion designers are expected to earn as much as 19% less than the average fashion salary.
  • Mid-career fashion designers are expected to earn about 10% more than the average fashion designer salary.
  • Experienced fashion designers are shown to earn about 29% more than the average fashion designers salary.
  • Late career fashion designers get 47% more than the average fashion designer salary.

Image source: josbd.com.

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Erika Schwartz

Dear reader, my name is Erika and I am an actress, arts teacher and film analyst. I studied theatre and film for over four years, and changed more than 15 part-time jobs. What can I say? It is a tough industry. I love dance, especially tango, music, and basically anything art-related. I also enjoy writing about the captivating and dynamic world of entertainment. When I work, I seek the perfect balance between usefulness and beauty. I like to describe myself as the most optimistic person alive.


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