Fashion Designer: Education Requirements & Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a fashion designer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and career outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

View 3 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Those with a passion for fashion and a flair for style may consider a career in fashion design. Fashion designers use their creative and technical skills to create varieties of clothing and accessories. Along with sketching and constructing original products, designers constantly study the industry to stay informed of current trends and to be able to forecast future styles. Fashion designers often have a bachelor's degree in fashion design and gain hands-on experience through internships and assistant positions. It is also important for fashion designers to have a portfolio.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth 3% decline between 2012 and 2022*
Median Salary (2013) $63,760*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fashion Designer Educational Requirements

Fashion designers are generally required to hold undergraduate degrees in fashion design. Those who intend on owning their own design firms or shops may benefit from earning a combined degree in fashion design and marketing or another business-related subject. Aspiring fashion designers seeking degree programs may consult with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the nationally recognized accrediting organization for design schools.

Curriculum

Associate's degree programs in fashion design are 2-year programs that equip students with fundamental, technical design skills, such as tailoring, sewing and basic fashion theories. Bachelor's degree programs generally last four years and tend to offer more extensive career training, combining technical coursework with artistic and conceptual instruction. Courses may include fashion drawing, 3-D design, color theory, textiles, computer-aided design, fashion business and portfolio presentation.

Internship

Hands-on training and industry exposure are essential for obtaining employment in fashion design. Aspiring fashion designer may gain such experience through internship programs, which are often required for graduation from bachelor's degree programs. Internships are available at design firms and retail businesses, and interns may be compensated for their work or provided with college credit. These programs allow interns to apply their fashion knowledge and skills and contribute to the company's design efforts under the guidance of experienced designers and executives.

Additional Qualifications

Along with formal training, fashion designers must have a strong capacity for creativity, including a knack for color, textile detail and style. Drawing and computer drafting skills are necessary for fashion sketching, and knowledge of sewing and tailoring are required for explaining the design process to manufacturers. Employers also tend to prefer fashion designers with retail or sales experience, which apply to the marketing aspect of the occupation. Similarly, designers are constantly working with various industry professionals, so strong communication and collaboration skills are essential.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

A 3% decline in job opportunities was predicted for fashion designers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2012-2022. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for these professionals in 2013 was $63,760.

Show me popular schools

Related to Fashion Designer: Education Requirements & Career Info

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Top School in Indianapolis for Fashion Design Training

Students interested in studying fashion design in Indianapolis, IN, have just a few schools to choose from within a 60-mile...

Top School in San Francisco for Fashion Design Degrees

San Francisco has roughly six schools with programs in fashion design. Find the best program for you by reading about schools'...

Top Fashion Design School in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA, has roughly five schools with programs in fashion design. Find the best program for you by reading about one...

Top School in Chicago for Fashion Design Programs

Students interested in studying fashion design in Chicago, IL, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local...

Top Fashion Design Degree Programs in Los Angeles

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Design and Merchandising
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Design
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Fashion Merchandising
        • Bachelor - Fashion Merchandising
        • Bachelor of Science - Visual Communications - Graphic Design
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Interior Design
    • Associate
        • Associate - Fashion Design
        • Associate - Graphic Design

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Advanced Virtualization Certificate

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baylor University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Howard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Texas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • New Jersey (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Montclair State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics