5 of the Highest-Paying Fashion Jobs (And How to Get Them)

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 18, 2018

Oct 18, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Creative jobs don't usually have a reputation for going hand-in-hand with big salaries.

But, with a global value of $3 trillion, the fashion industry is a clear exception, offering a range of creative careers that pay well.

As such, the fashion industry is also highly competitive. You'll need to work hard and stand out from the crowd to make your fashionista dreams come true. But, with so many varied careers within the fashion industry, you're sure to find the perfect role to suit your personality and skills.

To help you find your ideal fashion career, here are five of the highest-paying fashion jobs - and tips on how to land them!

1. Fashion Editor

Do you live for fashion and have excellent writing and editing skills? If so, you might consider combining your passion and abilities for a career as a fashion editor.

This role generally involves supervising teams of writers and photographers to produce content for online and print publications, television, and radio.

As with many high-paying jobs in the fashion industry, working as a fashion editor is a dream role for many people. If you're an aspiring editor, you'll need to gain years of experience as a fashion writer first. Many editors then work as editorial assistants for years before they are even considered for a fashion editor position.

A Bachelor's degree program which focuses on communication skills, as well as fashion expertise, is a must. Fashion journalism and fashion marketing are great examples. You'll also need to complete an internship to learn more about the industry and build a valuable network of contacts.

As you progress to paid roles, you'll most likely start out as a contributing writer for magazines, websites or other media. You could also choose to be self-employed and start your own publication.

2. Stylist

Fashion stylists create outfits for photo shoots, runway shows, and celebrity appearances.

Many aspiring stylists start out working in fashion retail while still in high school. This helps them gain experience and make contacts in the industry.

Often, they then work as visual merchandisers or personal shoppers. With commitment and hard work, they may then land a high-profile stylist role with an impressive fashionista salary to match.

To land your dream role as a fashion stylist, we recommend at least an associate's degree in fashion merchandising. You may also be required to complete an internship and assemble a portfolio.

And, you should join a professional organization such as the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) to keep up with the latest trends. The AICI also offers a two-level certification program to further boost your resume.

Finally, remember that you are a walking advertisement for your talents as a stylist. This means choosing the perfect interview outfit whenever you go for a new stylist role. It's also a good idea to build a strong social media presence as a type of portfolio.

3. Fashion Marketing Manager

The role of fashion marketing manager combines advertising, marketing, and public relations.

Fashion marketing managers work for boutiques or clothing companies to increase awareness of certain brands. They also track customer reactions to new products and brand initiatives. This allows them to see what works and what doesn't. As such, to excel in this position you need an excellent understanding of business and fashion, as well being digitally-minded.

Aspiring fashion marketing managers need at least a Bachelor's degree. Programs such as fashion marketing or fashion management are an ideal first step. And, some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree, such as a Master in Business Administration (MBA).

As a role with high expectations and a high salary, aspiring fashion marketing managers also need at least five years' work experience to secure their dream role. As such, completing an internship is essential. This will give you an insight into the industry and help you work your way up from entry-level fashion marketing jobs.

4. Buyer

Buyers work with sales reps and designers to source and purchase retail stock before the new season. Buyers make buying decisions based on their consumers' preferences. But, they must also possess expert fashion knowledge to anticipate next season's trends.

If you're still in school or college you can prepare for a career as a buyer by working in an entry-level role in fashion retail. You can then learn more about retail buying by completing a bachelor's degree in retail management. Many degrees also include an internship program for extra insight into fashion retail.

Securing a graduate role as an assistant buyer will offer you further, invaluable experience in forecasting and sales monitoring. You'll then be on track to secure a well-paid position as a fashion buyer.

To stay one step ahead in the ever-changing fashion industry, it's a good idea to become a member of a trade organization, such as the National Retail Federation. These organizations also offer opportunities to gain professional certification.

5. Fashion Designer

Becoming a successful fashion designer requires unique vision, creativity and a lot of hard work.

A degree in fashion design is essential to get ahead in this competitive industry. Learning about merchandising, sales, and marketing also offers insight into fashion as a business. This is particularly useful if you want to develop your own label and earn a top fashion designer salary.

Throughout your degree, fill your portfolio with work as a way to show off your wide range of skills - from sketching to sewing - to prospective employers.

And, develop your skills further with an internship at a design firm or clothing manufacturer. This will provide invaluable hands-on experience in converting a design into the finished product.

Degree programs often cover a range of design elements. But, it's advisable to find a niche within the world of fashion design, such as swimwear or socially conscious fashion. You can then approach designers or manufacturers within your chosen specialism to gain experience as an assistant designer.

The Highest-Paying Fashion Jobs

If you don't want to sacrifice your paycheck for a creative career, this selection of the highest-paying fashion jobs shows that fashion and financial gain can go hand in hand.

And, although you'll have to work hard to land the fashion job of your dreams, with dedication, enthusiasm, and passion, you too can make it to the top.

For more information on working in the fashion industry, contact us, or sign up to receive our newsletter, with all the latest news, job postings, and opportunities.