I have been struggling greatly on career choices in an industry full of change choosing a career seems almost impossible. I look and look through websites but struggle to find things that are obtainable for someone in my entry-level worthy position. I think this will help you significantly, getting quick job titles on your mind to get you started in your search for a career that will put you one step further in this fashion world. Another tip, start out in retail as soon as possible while you are in college because, most of the careers in fashion require at least 3 years of retail experience. Any retail experience will do, from working in a grocery store, a coffee shop, a clothing store, or any job with the title of “Sales Associate.” A good way to know what a career entails is to look up current positions that are open and just look at what your responsibilities would be since they will vary between different companies and industries.
Also, I would like for you to remember that the salaries I have listed below are the minimum or average amounts these careers will get you, that does not mean you cannot achieve a greater salary. The more experience under your belt the more valuable you can be to your company or brand you work for. These salaries also vary by region and the region I had chosen for my examples is Los Angeles.
Education in any industry is very helpful for the background knowledge you can gain from school and it boosts a resume. But just because you can get away with not having a degree for certain job position does not mean it will be this easy everywhere. A lot of places offer tuition assistance, so take advantage to reach your full potential with your career. One thing that you can do now is start a portfolio, whether it is your writings or designs, it will allow the hiring manager to see your potential.
10 Careers in the Fashion Industry
- Sales Associate
This job entails working directly with the customers on the sales floor to find what they want and need, ensuring a smooth sales transaction from them entering the stores to the second they leave. Customer service is the building blocks of retail, it is an entry-level job with an education requirement usually of just a High School Diploma. They typically make minimum wage or $9.75 an hour, which is usually $33,000 a year.
- Purchasing Manager
A Purchasing Manager controls and organizes the inventory department/retail stores. Maintaining records of the said inventory that was ordered and received. Also responsible for directing and planning the purchases of all store materials, and seeking new vendors. These skills are often from a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Production and Manufacturing, or Business. They typically have an average salary of $100,000.
- Visual Merchandiser
A career in Visual Merchandising consists of promoting the image, products and/or service of a company. They focus on the creation of window displays and in store product organization and set up within the department and retail stores. Usually each store has their own individual floor plans but do not get this career confused with Display Designers. They recommend a degree in this field, preferably in Fashion, Marketing, or Interior Design. Typically, this career has an average salary of around $30,000 a year.
- Display Designer
A Display Designer is a career path in designing mass-produced displays, stands, and occasionally the point of sale through displays. Depending on the company the responsibilities of this career are completely understanding the product/service, agreeing on a budget, and creating aesthetically pleasing display stands that attract customers. A degree in Interior Design or Architecture is preferred for this career. The typical Salary of a Display Designer is $52,000.
- Wardrobe Stylist
Otherwise known as a Fashion Stylist, the Wardrobe Stylist is in the profession of choosing the clothing and accessories for advertising, performances, and public appearances. Advertising in this example would consist of magazine spreads and fashion brands. Performances such as concerts, movies/tv shows, and music videos. An ideal degree in this field would be a bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising, with Fashion Design courses to get a good understanding of fabrics and draping. The average amount a Stylist makes a year is $64,000.
- Brand Representative
Also known as Brand Ambassador, the Brand Representative can be more so a seasonal or part-time worker rather than full-time employees, depending on the job that needs to be filled. Typically, someone hired to represent a brand has to raise awareness within the company’s target market and increase their sales. Ways these representatives promote the brands is by getting public figures or well-liked individuals to pass out products or post about their products on social media. Although you do not need a degree to pursue this career it is highly recommend going for a bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship or Merchandising. They usually earn around $35,000 a year.
- Production Assistant
Being an entry-level position the Production Assistant starts at the bottom, making copies and assisting crew when needed. Generally, they are the support and assistants to the designers and producers, doing research or collecting and managing projects. Occasionally dealing with the paperwork between deals, and purchase orders. Even though these seems tedious and not the most ideal job it does require a degree in Fashion Design, but the experience and exposure does open a lot of doors. The typical salary of a Production Assistant is $30,000.
- Fashion Journalist
A Fashion journalist is someone who writes about the fashion world in a magazine or website. With a constant need to stay up on all the fashion trends and who wore what, they might get the opportunity to attend trade shows or fashion shows. Literacy skills are key, so bachelor’s in English or Journalism is recommended. The typical salary for a journalist in this industry is $44,000.
- Fashion Illustrator
A Fashion Illustrator is typically a person with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. These individuals will need a good understanding of imagery software type programs, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Also creating things like lookbooks, designs for garments, and ways to communicate a fashion concept through media. These talented people usually make around $48,000 a year.
- Fashion photographer
A career in Fashion Photography displays fashion in various concepts and really tailors itself to each brand and what they want their viewers to see. These individuals work in places like Elle, Marie Claire, or Vogue. They do not limit themselves to just magazines, they also work directly with the designers, promoting their brands. For this type of job internships are important to getting your foot in the door to this industry as well as a High School Diploma. If you want to extend your knowledge into a degree that is always a plus, but make sure to have at least two years’ experience in photography. The salary for this career is about $59,000 a year.