The median annual wage for fashion designers was $63,670 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $125,270.
In May 2015, the median annual wages for fashion designers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Management of companies and enterprises
Apparel, piece goods, and notions merchant wholesalers
Specialized design services
Earnings in this occupation can vary widely with experience, the employer, and the designer's reputation. Starting salaries in fashion design tend to be very low. Salaried fashion designers usually earn higher and more stable incomes than self-employed, freelance designers. However, a few of the most successful self-employed fashion designers earn many times the salary of the highest paid salaried designers.
Most fashion designers work full time. Occasionally, fashion designers work many hours to meet production deadlines or prepare for fashion shows. Designers who freelance generally work under a contract and tend to work longer hours and adjust their workday to their clients' schedules and deadlines.
Median annual wages, May 2015
Art and design workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics