20 Best Paying Jobs in the Apparel/Fashion Industry in 2023

Best Paying Jobs in the Apparel/Fashion Industry

Most fashion enthusiasts interested in the apparel industry typically get the highest paying employment there. Contrary to popular belief, the best paying jobs in the apparel/fashion industry did not originate in the clothing and fashion industry.

Even if you are not interested in the creativity required to create something beautiful, you can always choose the finance sector of the apparel industry. There is nothing to dislike about the fashion world.

Also, most fashion students hope to achieve the highest-paying positions in the apparel/fashion industries. Students interested in this field will be not only able to advance their skills but also acquire various other skill sets, experiences, and abilities.

In this article, we’ll give you an insight into the best-paying job in the apparel/fashion industry.

Why Choose A Job in the Apparel/Fashion Industry? 

The fashion industry attracts thousands of graduates every year. It has four stages, from the creation of raw materials to the retail sector. As a result, a massive selection of professional employment is available within the industry.

Also, starting your career in an entry-level role provides room for growth and development. In your journey, you will acquire knowledge and skills that will improve your overall performance and result in several promotions and pay raises opportunities.

Working in the fashion industry allows you to network with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. 

These experiences will help shape your career path in the industry.

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What are the Different Types of Apparel/Fashion Jobs?

If you’re searching for jobs in the apparel/fashion industry, it will be helpful to know and understand the qualifications and requirements of the different types of positions made available.

Let us look at the different types of jobs spanning all three (3) significant sectors of the fashion industry: sales, design, and development.

Sales-related Jobs

  • Sales Associate
  • Merchandiser
  • Stylist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Inventory Planner
  • Account Manager
  • Retail Buyer

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Design-related Jobs

  • Fashion Designer
  • Graphics Designer
  • Textile Designer
  • Creative Director

Development-related Jobs

  • Product Developer
  • Technical Designer
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Production Manager

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What are the Benefits of a Career in the Apparel/Fashion Industry?

If you have decided to take up a career in the apparel and fashion industry, you are sure to find out that although the industry is lucrative, it can be very competitive. 

Amidst the downside of working in this industry, the benefits overshadow, and this out rightly results in a successful career path for interested individuals.

The benefits of a career in the Apparel/Fashion industry are as follows.

High-Income Prospects

There are opportunities to earn a good living if you locate your expertise, put in the effort, develop your network, and work tirelessly. 

Keep in mind that there are a variety of jobs in the fashion field that retail job recruiters can assist you in finding. 

There are more than simply fashion designers, runway models, and high-end photographers.

According to Mashable, depending on the businesses they are endorsing, Instagram influencers and bloggers with a sizable following might earn up to $11,000 for every post. According to TheRichest.com, makeup artist Sam Fine bills a minimum of $3,500 daily for his services.

Lots of Creative Satisfaction

The apparel/fashion industry’s abundance of creative space is one of its most evident and alluring characteristics. Creativity is at the core of all you do, whether you work in design, photography, or retail.

Since so many facets of fashion move quickly and constantly change, there are many opportunities for fresh concepts.

The fashion industry is entirely driven by creativity, with trends being invented and recreated continuously and fashion changing as swiftly as the seasons. The fashion sector can be a perfect option if you need to use your imagination at work.

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Demanding Nature 

It is not surprising that constant competition in a sector that changes so rapidly as fashion. Brands continuously vied to produce the best goods, have the best aesthetics, and create unique items.

While it could seem intimidating to some, this is the most pleasing aspect of the apparel and fashion industry for others. Participants in the sector are kept on their toes and prevent boredom by the task of consistently coming up with new ideas. 

Also, there is no time to waste in the fashion world since finding the next big thing is everything. There is undoubtedly a mentality of “work like it’s already too late.”


Networking is a significant component of the fashion industry. Who you know is crucial in this sector because a lot of work is frequently contracted. By participating in this social industry, you will learn how to widen your circle and uphold both business and personal ties. 

While fashion industry recruiters are available to assist you in entering the field, networking will be crucial to your continued participation and advancement. Even if you only work briefly in the fashion industry, networking is a valuable skill you can apply to any career.

Travelling Packages

Because fashion necessitates a lot of collaboration, it can also require a lot of travel. You may get the chance to travel all across the country or perhaps the world, depending on your position and the nature of your clients and partners.

There are numerous reasons to travel in the fashion industry, including photo sessions, fashion shows, and meetings to discuss product samples. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Fashion may be a fantastic fit for you if you’re trying to find a job that would allow you to travel and discover the world.

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How Many Jobs are Available in the Apparel/Fashion Industry?

Although fashion trends may fade, there’s always a new buzz to replace the previous trends. However, the apparel and fashion industry has an infinite number of jobs available for all persons interested in starting a career.

Some of the popular high-paying jobs available include

  • Clothing/Textile Technologist
  • Senior Apparel Designer
  • Event Manager
  • Creative Director
  • Product Manager
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Sourcing Manager
  • Magazine Journalist
  • Make-up Artist
  • Public Relations Officer

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20 Best Paying Jobs in Apparel/Fashion Industry in 2023

If you love the glitz and glamour of the apparel and fashion industry and always have a knack for making beautiful pieces or working with the best fashion stylists, here is a list of the best-paying jobs in the apparel/fashion industry:

1. Modeling

Modeling is one of the most lucrative and well-paying professions in the apparel and fashion industry. Individuals can specialize as a model by modeling for swimwear, shoes, jewelry, the catwalk, lingerie, or fitness.

A model is a who? An individual who works in the fashion industry with brands and designers. Fashion models also promote and advertise clothing, designs, collections, and accessories for the fashion industry.

A model must possess self-assurance, effective interpersonal and communication skills, stylistic abilities, poise, and intelligence.

A model makes an average salary of $125,457 per year.

2. Costume Designer

A position in the apparel/fashion industry that pays well is costume designer. You can specialize in modern or historical costume designs and move on to create contemporary pieces.

Who creates costumes? A costume designer develops and makes costumes for actors, actresses, and the film industry.

To be a successful costume designer, individuals must improve their interpersonal, communication, creativity, sewing, negotiating, and problem-solving skills.

A costume designer’s average salary per year in compensation is $40,735.

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3. Makeup Artists 

Makeup Artists have some of the highest-paying positions in the apparel/fashion industries. Positions as a makeup artist are always made available in a salon, for a beauty line, for weddings, in a fashion house, for photoshoots, or any other setting.

A makeup artist requires composure, good communication skills, creativity, styling skills, knowledge about cosmetic products, and more.

The average salary a makeup artist earns per hour is $32.23.

4. Design Directors

The average salary of design directors is $136,685 per year. With such a salary, it’s not difficult to understand how this position is among the most-paying in the apparel/fashion industry.

The design directors manage and supervise the fashion designers as they create product ranges. We already know that fashion designers are “bosses” on their own, so just picture being the boss of another boss. The supreme boss!

The prerequisites for taking this career route are surprisingly doable. I mean, is there anything out of reach? Check it out yourself:

  • An undergraduate or graduate degree in graphic design, fine arts, advertising, or a closely connected field
  • Several years of design experience; 
  • Ability to turn concepts into product lines

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5. Creative Director

The role of a creative director demands passion, fashion awareness, and the ability to pay close attention to details to create a vision and communicate it to its team.

Also, the creative Director is responsible for supervising the details of the products, such as fabric outlook, color palettes, and fabric texture, to ensure they align with the vision.

The average salary of a creative director is $108,015 per year, making it an attractive position to look out for.

To have a shot at getting a job as a creative director, individuals should have the following

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, graphic design
  • Experience in management
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

6. Product Manager

Every apparel and fashion company has products ranging from swimsuits, menswear, womenswear, kiddies wear, shoe lines, and lingerie. The product manager’s responsibility is to handle and manage a particular product line.

Product managers must precisely monitor all market trends to see how they can improve the company’s product to match their goals and objectives and the general market standard.

The average net salary of a product manager is $106,480 per year.

To attain the position of a product manager, you’ll require:

  • A bachelor’s degree in management or related field
  • Consistency and the ability to scrutinize products properly
  • An expressive and creative mind
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Years of Experience

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7. Sourcing Manager

The primary function of a sourcing manager is to outsource raw materials and other items needed for production.

Also, they are the link between the company and its suppliers, ensuring the quality inspection and production of everyday goods.

The average salary of a sourcing manager is $94,485 per year.

8. Market Research Analyst 

The duties of a market research analyst involve making reports based on research strategies and predictions. Also, they provide the necessary documentation and data for the forecasts.

An interested person should have 

  • A bachelor’s degree in economics, math, or finance
  • Analytical and communication skills
  • Good history with the fashion industry, merchandising, and clothing retail.

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9. Art Director

Art directors are the creative brains behind all content creation for fashion brands and magazines. They are responsible for the design, directing, styling, and presenting of fashion, brand ideas, runway styling, fashion videos, and photoshoot visualization.

The average salary of an art director in the apparel/fashion industry is around $76,447 per year.

10. Fashion illustrator

One of the best paying jobs in the apparel/fashion industry is as a fashion illustrator. As a fashion illustrator, I primarily aim to create ideas by drawing and sketching what an outfit should look like.

A fashion illustrator earns an average salary of $50,910 annually.

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11. Merchandiser

A merchandiser buys and sells goods and is also in charge of advancing interests and products.

To be eligible, you must have the following skills

  • Analytical Skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills, 
  • Creativity
  • Basic computer skills.

A merchandiser earns an average salary of about $28,999 annually.

12. Senior Designer 

Senior Designers have a mastery of design skills. They handle the day-to-day responsibilities, including creating new designs, evaluating models, researching product trends, and attending product development meetings. 

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13. Jewelry Designer

A jewelry designer is a trained expert who creates accessories using gold, silver, and gemstones. They sketch designs and assemble the number of golds, gems, and diamonds required to make a necklace or earrings.

14. Photographer

A photographer job position is one of the best-paying jobs in the apparel/fashion industry that do not necessarily require a degree. All this is needed is the creative mind and skill to take incredible pictures that depict the fashion brand adequately.

A photographer earns an average of $43,114 annually.

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15. Fashion Editor

A fashion editor monitors the process of developing content for fashion blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Also, a fashion editor documents reviews and reports on trends.

The average salary for a fashion editor is $55,207 annually.

16. Fabric Researcher

A fabric researcher is a professional whose key role is to pay attention to the details of fabric material. Also, a fabric researcher works with fabric or textile industries to produce new and trendy ideas to improve fabric materials.

This position is essential in the apparel/fashion industry; they earn an average of $51,665 annually.

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17. Retail Buyer 

A retail buyer is a professional responsible for purchasing bulk goods in retail stores.

Commercial knowledge, good communication, and negotiating skills are needed for a retail buyer.

Also, a retail buyer earns an average of $55,199 annually

18. Personal Stylist 

Almost every celebrity has a personal stylist who researches and creates trending outfits in vogue.

When applying for a position as a personal stylist, you need to develop your confidence level, research, and creativity skills. Also, you have to be attentive to details and have a basic understanding of art and designs.

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19. Fashion Designer

For every trend, pattern, or design you see today in the fashion world, a fashion designer assembles those pieces to create the glamour it has in the world today.

A fashion designer sketches, designs, and plans the layout of an outfit to create beautiful results. A designer earns an average of $61,260 annually.

20. Fashion Public Relations Manager

A fashion public relations manager is a professional in charge of the public relations of an individual/company. They often promote and create positive awareness for their company’s brand.

This position requires managerial skills, interpersonal skills, writing skills, the ability to do research, and problem-solving skills.

The average salary of a fashion Public relations manager is $62,039 per year.

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How to Get a Job in the Apparel/Fashion Industry

To begin your apparel/fashion industry career, you often need to start at an entry-level position. Given the variety of occupations available in the apparel or fashion sector, you should begin by thoroughly researching the field you want to enter, such as design, styling, or buying. 

Having a specific enthusiasm for fashion and knowledge of and expertise in retail clothing sales, designs and marketing are frequent requirements for employment in the apparel industry.

Let us take a looks at how to get the best-paying jobs in the apparel industry

Obtain a degree

Although you can get a job with little to no educational background in the apparel industry, it is an upgrade if you acquire a fashion-related degree.

A degree from an institution that offers a broad-based knowledge of the fashion business will be essential as you will be taught the rudiments of the fashion industry. 

Also, most institutions have links to these brands, which could result in internships and full-term recruitment if you play your cards right.

Build Your Network

Getting to know people in the apparel/fashion industry can give you significant insights on navigating your way into a successful career.

When building your networking system, join as many social media platforms and groups, identify with your brand and remember, the goal is to show your awareness of the industry and use it to make contacts.

Build Your Skills

Since the fashion industry constantly evolves, you should stay relevant to every current trend. However, being outdated automatically strikes you out. 

One way to build your skills is to get certifications – you can take online courses to prove your credentials in a particular skill or field.

Certifications are available on all kinds of schedules. A certificate proves your expertise and shows initiative, and hiring managers love candidates willing to go the extra mile.

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The Skills Required for a Career in the Apparel/Fashion Industry

Many people inquire about the qualifications necessary to work as a professional or an authority in the apparel/fashion industry. 

The following are the critical skills needed to succeed in the apparel/fashion industry:

1. Visualization Skills:

To work in the apparel/fashion industry, you must be imaginative and be able to create something new from nothing.

2. Styling Skills:

To produce something unique, you need to possess various fundamental styling skills.

3. Sewing Skills

This skill is essential for individuals interested in specializing in fashion design.

4. Leadership Skills

If you have a keen interest in the apparel/fashion industry, most high-paying jobs usually involve being a team leader or working as a team.

Good leadership skills will help you communicate and work effectively with your team members.

5. Creativity

This is one crucial skill needed in the apparel/fashion industry, as everything we see and wears is a product of someone’s creativity.

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What if You Don’t Have a Degree?

Most times, people are faced with the difficulty of starting a career in the apparel/fashion industry because they do not have any degree or formal education in any fashion-related course.

However, with the ever-evolving world of fashion, people can begin a career and earn well without having a degree. All that is required for such persons is to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills, familiarize themselves with design software, practice making pro types, and attend fashion events.

Individuals can learn through specific social media channels like Youtube and Instagram or begin an apprenticeship program.

Some best paying jobs you can apply for without a degree are as follows

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Hair Stylist
  • Makeup Artist
  • Studio Photographer
  • Retail Employee
  • Personal Stylist

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How Much Do Apparel/Fashion Industry Jobs Pay?

The apparel/fashion industry is a very competitive and lucrative field. The pay range depends on the location, job specifics, work level, and years of experience.

Below is a list of the best-paying jobs in the apparel/fashion industry

  • Creative Director – $180K
  • Design Director – $178K
  • VP of Publicity – $146K
  • Marketing Director – $130K
  • Buyer – $124K
  • Senior Designer – $104K

FAQs on Best Paying Jobs In Apparel/Fashion Industry

What jobs can I do if I love fashion?

There are a decent number of jobs you can venture into if you love fashion. Such jobs include Costume designers, design assistants, hair stylists, editorial assistants, and more.

Is fashion designing a good career choice?

It is one of the most in-demand careers in the world. Being a highly creative field, it can allow you to blend cultures and create beautiful contemporary pieces.

Do I need a degree to get a job in the apparel/fashion industry?

No, you don’t. There are quite several jobs in the apparel/fashion industry that do not require any degree. Knowledge and relevant skills for the position are all that are necessary.

Is it hard to get a job as a fashion designer?

Pursuing a career as a fashion designer will start hard because you are a novice in the industry, but eventually, it gets better.


In the glamorous fashion world, there is never a dull moment because everyone in this field is just trying to use their ingenuity to make the world more beautiful.

One benefit of working in the apparel/fashion industry for those with a sense of adventure has the chance to travel domestically or abroad.

To help you choose the ideal profession, we’ve compiled a list of the best paying jobs in the apparel/fashion industry.



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