At first glance, the fashion industry seems ultra glamourous with lavish textiles, shoes and accessories, but it’s not always what it seems. There are indeed certain jobs that are more attractive than others, but whatever you choose to do, you’ll need to work hard to make your dreams come true.
And although you might like the idea of designing clothes, you may realise that your pattern-cutting skills are awful and so an alternative fashion career may be better suited. But that’s no cause for concern. In fact, in such a widespread industry, there are hundreds of jobs to choose from – and you’re bound to find one that suits your skills and personality.
To help you find your true calling and take your passion for fashion to the next level, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best fashion jobs for some inspiration.
1. Fashion Stylist
Average salary: $31,000 (£24,400)
Stylists can be found in different settings, from retail stores to fashion shoots or even working with celebrities on a one-to-one basis. However, their main aim is the same: to help their client find a well-fitting and attractive outfit. In order to succeed in this role, you’ll need a keen eye for detail and excellent communication skills to get a true understanding of who your client is and what they want.
2. Sales Assistant
Average salary: $34,000 (£26,750)
As a sales representative, your main duties will focus on delivering great customer service. You’ll also be required to get involved in merchandising and ensuring the store is presentable by refolding garments, cleaning any mess and coordinating clothes. Working as a sales assistant is a great way to gain experience and break into the fashion industry.
3. Fashion Journalist / Writer
Average salary: $39,300 (£30,900)
If you’re a self-renowned bookworm and have a knack for expressing yourself through the power of words, then a career as a fashion writer is perfect for you! You could end up working for your favourite publication, going solo and creating your own blog or even freelancing for a number of companies. A degree in creative writing or journalism will be useful.
4. Personal Assistant
Average salary: $39,400 (£31,000)
Working as a personal assistant for a high-profile celeb or editor-in-chief can have its perks, but you also need to be a dedicated and hard-working individual that can be available to work 24/7. You’ll often need to arrange your boss’s schedule, book flights and make restaurant reservations for them, run shopping errands and do tasks that they just don’t have time for.
5. Garment Technologist
Average salary: $40,000 (£31,450)
If you have an eye for details, this role could be ideal for you. As a garment technologist, you’ll be responsible for checking the production process and ensuring that there are no faults on the final product. You’ll also be involved in fabric choices, ensuring that they are kept within budget. To be successful in this diverse role, you’ll need a good understanding of design and manufacturing.
6. Visual Merchandiser
Average salary: $41,600 (£32,700)
Visual merchandisers are responsible for styling window fronts, mannequins and shop floors. They design arrangements and cloth combinations or work to a guide set by the organisation’s head merchandiser. To get your foot in the door, it’s advised to start off as a shop assistant and prove your merchandising skills on the job.
Average salary: $42,200 (£33,200)
Fashion models are the face of a brand – they promote clothing, accessories or footwear through various forms of marketing, 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.
8. Graphic Designer
Average salary: $42,700 (£33,600)
If you love editing images, using different typography and creating new designs, you could get a job as a graphic designer for your favourite brand. You could end up working on new marketing materials, seasonal look books and touching up editorial shots.
9. Fashion Photographer
Average salary: $43,200 (£34,000)
Fashion photography differs from usual portrait or landscape shoots. In this field, you’ll need to have creative ideas and have the skill to shoot models, mannequins and still-life images of garments. However, your photos can get great exposure through ad campaigns and the press, meaning that it can be a highly satisfying career.
Average salary: $45,000 (£35,400) Fashion illustrators work with designers and creative directors to make their visions come to life. Most illustrators these days use CAD software to create sketches of designs. Others still use the traditional method of free-hand sketching. To succeed in this career, you’ll need to be very artistic and creative to create accurate and realistic drawings.
11. Digital Media Specialist
Average salary: $45,300 (£35,600)
Are you good at promoting things and keeping up to date with the latest social media trends? If so, along with some professional training and SEO knowledge, you can become a digital media specialist for your favourite brand, helping them reach a wider audience with a strong social media presence.
12. Fashion PR Coordinator
Average salary: $46,600 / £36,600
A PR coordinator is essentially the face of the brand to the press and public. They work hard building relationships with journalists and influencers, send out gifts and create press releases to ensure that the company is seen in the best possible light. If an issue arises, they are essentially ‘damage control’ and do all they can to diffuse the situation.
13. Fashion Merchandiser
Average salary: $48,609 (£38,200)
If you’re more of a numbers guy or gal 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!
14. Trend Forecaster
Average salary: $50,000 (£39,300)
If you’re good at predicting upcoming trends, you could consider joining a trend forecasting agency. By using research techniques and analytical skills along with an extensive knowledge of fashion history, you too could be great at predicting what will be on the runway the following season.
15. Retail Buyer
Average salary: $50,700 (£39,900)
As the name suggests, buyers are in charge of sourcing and purchasing stock before the season begins. They use their expert knowledge with market research to make decisions based on their consumers’ preferences.
16. Textile Designer
Average salary: $51,700 (£40,700)
Textile designers specialise in patterns for fabrics and upholstery. They use 2D designs to be woven or knitted into garments, carpets, fabrics and other items. Most textile designers usually choose one of the two fields to work in.
17. Web Developer
Average salary: $58,200 (£45,800)
With more and more fashion talk moving from paper to the web, web developers are becoming all the more popular for fashion houses and businesses to stay on trend. If you have a passion for coding and clothes, why not consider pursuing this exciting career?
18. eCommerce Manager
Average salary: $59,100 (£46,500) eCommerce managers are responsible for managing and maintaining a retail brand’s online website and sales. They must keep a consistent brand image and attract customers to make purchases through their page, meaning that they need to keep an eye on both text and images.
19. Fashion Designer
Average salary: $62,700 (£49,300)
This is the most high-profile job within the entire industry. Fashion designers are the creative geniuses behind the entire fashion house they work for – they sketch the entire collection and oversee the project until the finishing touches have been made. Take the iconic Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani for example, who are both public figures in their own right.
20. Boutique Owner
Average salary: up to $100,000 (£78,600)
If you want to work with different fabrics and textures day in and day out, you could consider opening your own boutique and stocking designer’s clothes that you love. In order to do so, you’ll need a good understanding of buying, merchandising and selling so you can effectively run a successful business.
As you can see, the number of jobs in the fashion industry is endless and is definitely not limited to these 20. If you want to pursue a career in this field, the easiest way to do is to get a foot in through the door by completing an internship or taking on an entry-level position.
Which role appeals to you the most? Let us know in the comments section below!