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How to Become a Fashion Designer- Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to Become a Fashion Designer- Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

** Open Colleges does not currently offer Fashion Designing course**

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/ How to Become a Fashion Designer- Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

Thinking of a Career in Fashion Design?

** Open Colleges does not currently offer Fashion Designing course**

If you think you’ve got that creative flare and the drive to become a Fashion Designer, below is everything you need to know about the Fashion and Design industry from salary earnings to job outlook and work hours. Who knows, you might end up opening the next Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Take a leap into the exciting world of Fashion Designing where you can harness your creative potential and design clothes you never imagined would be possible.

Fashion Design Careers Prospects

Fashion Designer Job Outlook

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020. Estimates have been rounded.

The graph shows historical and projected (to 2020) employment levels (thousands) for Designers. Over the five years the number of job openings for Designers is expected to be between 5001 and 10000. Employment in Fashion Designing does happen all over the country, including in regional and rural areas although the majority of roles can be found in capital cities.  

Employment for this occupation is strong. There are currently 11 600 people working in Fashion Design and jobs rose strongly in the past five years and ten years. Looking ahead, employment for Fashion, Industrial and Jewellery Designers to November 2020 is expected to grow strongly.

Which industries are looking to hire people in this profession? pointed out Fashion Designers are most likely to be employed in manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical services, as well as in retail trade.

What is the average salary of a Fashion Designer?

Fashion Designer Salaries

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Characteristics of Employment Survey.

Note: These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate.


According to,  a Fashion Designer with five years’ experience based in Sydney, New South Wales will an earn average salary of $61,621. This is likely to vary depending on industry experience, location, and other factors. also reveals that Fashion Designers are likely to be paid more if they were living in Perth, Western Australia. Fashion Designers there are paid the highest among Fashion Designers in Australia. indicates full-time Fashion Designers in Australian earn a total earning of $1080 per week which equals around $52 160 per annum.

How many hours per week do people in this industry work?

Fashion Designer Working hours

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average.

The graph shows people in this profession work an average of 40 hours per week (by gender and full-time and part-time), which is just under the 40.2 national average of hours worked by all occupations. 

Workers have an above average portion of full-time jobs. Men in this profession make up 40.4% of the full-time workforce, while 39.5% of full-time job roles are held by women.

Interestingly, the data from also shows women make up the entire part-time workforce in the Fashion, Industrial and Jewellery Designers industry in Australia, which accounts for 18% of the industry’s total workforce.

What is the average age of a Fashion Designer?

Fashion Designer Age

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average.

Unsurprisingly, the Fashion and Design industry has a strong appeal amongst young people. The majority (43.2%) average age of those in Fashion Designing and other types of design are in the 25-34 age group. The average age for someone working in this type of role is 35 years, which is below the average age of all occupations that sits at 40 years.

Education Levels

Fashion Designer Education Level

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average

66.7% of people looking into a career in Fashion Designing hold a Bachelor degree and a 33.3% hold an Advanced Diploma or Diploma as their highest level of education.

Trends in the Fashion Industry: A Technological Take on Fashion Designing

A study, commissioned by the National Broadband Network and carried out by demographer Bernard Salt, has found the introduction of new technology will create new opportunities for specialist professions, including Designers, over the next decade.

The study showed workers will be among the highly sought after creative workers as people begin to use technology as part of their business. In the case of Fashion Designers this could be as basic as using social media to promote their labels through to creating designs that are technology led. In fact, a report from Beecham Research said the fashion-forward wearable technology industry could be worth $9.3 billion.

Interview with a Fashionista

Melissa Tan

Designer of fashion accessory label, Melissa Tan

In two sentences, tell us what a bit about your role.

For my own label, I create each design to make it smart, practical, original and looking fashionable while considering how it will be made, what it will be made from and how much it will cost to make. A Designer needs to think of all factors from the birth of a creative idea, through to its production and finally the end user.

What does a person who works in this industry do on a day to day basis?

A good Designer should have an overall picture on how their label is running to make sure the original design is still true and accurate from the initial sample stage through to the final production of the design. Having my own label means in one day I could be doing numerous tasks such as designing, sample making to trial a new design, sourcing and purchasing materials and accessories, doing costings to check pricing on a finished design, but also replying to customer inquiries, working on my marketing or sending out online orders. When you're starting out you are the designer, sample maker, public relations, customer service, accountant and despatch. 

What are the best parts about Fashion Designing?

I love fashion designing because the possibilities are endless with what you can create! I also love working with fabric, a piece, a metre, or even scrap of fabric is lifeless but you can cut it, drape it, shape it, sew it and mould it to turn it into something beautiful and useful. It's the idea of turning nothing into something, a thought can become a garment, a sketch can become a fashion accessory, an idea can become "the next big thing".

What skills/attributes do potential workers need to have?

I think this goes for any industry but you have to be a hard worker and a smart worker to be the best and most efficient at what you do. The fashion industry is known to be a very high pressure industry so being organised and having good time management skills is a great advantage. The Australian fashion industry is small so you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd in your own unique way. Always respect your work colleagues, relations and acquaintances, and be a sponge to those more experienced than you to learn as much as you can.

What are your favourite things about being in the Fashion and Design industry?

Fashion is constantly changing and re-inventing itself, you will never get bored with fashion! Each year, each season, each trend there is something new and different, and therefore always the opportunity to learn more. Fashion designing always pulls inspiration from past decades, putting a new modern twist on it, but it is always forging forward with new technologies in textiles and production processes. The Fashion and Design industry is made up of so many unique and creative people, there is never a dull day in fashion.

Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your story with open Colleges.

Ready to take the next steps towards your career?

Working in Fashion and Design, you'll find the ability to put your creativity to work by assisting with design concepts for clothing and textiles, starting your own fashion label, or just having a bit of fun creating something out of nothing

** Please note that Open Colleges does not currently offer Fashion Designing course**

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