Highest Paid Careers in Fashion

By Ren Orin , last updated December 21, 2011

What’s not to love about all of the highest paid careers in fashion? You get to rub elbows with the rich, beautiful and powerful, travel the world, and for those at the top of the payscale, make a pretty serious salary. Sure, some might argue that the fashion world is superficial and geared toward the exploitation of insecurities, but why not live it up guzzling champagne with the gorgeous and the elite if you can? It certainly pays well. Read on for an overview of the highest paying gigs in the fashion industry.

Fashion Designers

The highest paying career in the fashion industry is the designer. At the top end, designers can make more than $130,000 per year. Only 10 percent of designers clear this salary, but even if you’re not in this bracket you’ll make a comfortable wage once you get yourself noticed. The median salary for designers was $64,530 as of May 2010. Plus, if you’re good, you’ll be designing the trends for the coming year. Most employers prefer their designers to have a bachelor’s degree or at least an associate’s degree in fashion. So, while this is not a requirement, you may want to consider investing some time and effort into one of these fields.

Fashion Models

Next on the list is the fashion model. There is a major salary disparity within this category. The top fashion models cleared $25 million last year, but the average annual income of fashion models is more like $32,920. Still, that’s not bad for a job that consists of posing for photographs and walking down a runway wearing beautiful clothes. And, of course, the responsibility of persuading the general population that it’s truly vitally important that they buy that pair of expensive shoes.

Fashion Photographers

Fashion photographers can also rake in some serious cash. Their job is to artfully capture clothing and accessories in photographs that can then be used to sell products. Photographers work closely with designers and models to create the ideal image that really sells. As with the other careers in the fashion industry, the salary range of the fashion photographer depends greatly on skill and experience. Most photographers pull in between $25,755 to $68,510.

Fashion Stylists

Finally, the stylist is another high-paying position in the fashion industry. Stylists are responsible for the overall look and feel of a fashion moment. Whether it’s a photo shoot or a celebrity interview, you can bet there’s a stylist running around behind the scenes making sure that the accessories go with the hair style and the set compliments the outfit. Stylists start out make $150-$200 per day, but as they gain skills and experience, stylists can make much, much more. The range of salary for fashion stylist is between $23,489 and $74,378 yearly.

Of course there are many other careers in fashion that still pay considerably well. From publicist to buyer, merchandizer to illustrator, careers in the fashion industry can really pay off. It makes sense, considering how much people love to buy clothes, love to look at beautiful people wearing clothes and love to imagine that they, too, could wear clothes that well.

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