Fashion Marketing and Management Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in fashion marketing and management. Read on to learn more about career options along with information about salary and key responsibilities. Schools offering Fashion Design & Merchandising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Fashion Marketing and Management?

Fashion marketing and management includes a variety of fields such as a fashion purchasing, retail management, and visual merchandising. For example, fashion buyers decide what products a retail clothing store sells by reviewing merchandise from wholesalers. Retail managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a retail store. They manage employees, deal with clients, and take care of the administrative aspects of the store. Visual merchandisers decide how merchandise is displayed in the store. They might arrange window displays, install furniture or props, and decide on lighting. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering the fashion marketing and management field.

Fashion Buyer Retail Manager Visual Merchandiser
Degree Required High school diploma (or equivalent) High school diploma (or equivalent) High school diploma (or equivalent)
Key Responsibilities Negotiate prices with wholesaler
Monitor sales and fashion trends
Oversee and train employees
Interact with customers
Plan and arrange displays
Coordinate with sales team
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6%* 4%* 3%*
Median Salary (2015) $52,940* $38,310* $26,870*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Jobs Are Available in Fashion Marketing and Management?

A wide variety of careers exist in the fashion merchandising field, from retail sales to advertising to fashion show production. If you have good planning and decision-making skills, then you may consider becoming a fashion buyer. As a fashion buyer you would decide what clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories are to be sold on the retail sales floor. Looking at merchandise from a variety of vendors, you would take into consideration the latest trends in fashion with an eye for style and price points preferred by your company's customer base.

As a retail manager, you would be involved in hiring and training retail sales associates and motivating them to provide an enjoyable customer experience that will generate sales. You would also be responsible for handling a variety of day-to-day tasks, such as scheduling staff and overseeing inventory and payroll controls.

If you are looking to work on the creative side of the fashion industry, then you might consider becoming a visual merchandising manager. In this position, you would be responsible for how merchandise is displayed in store windows as well as on the sales floor. Your job as a visual merchandising manager is essential for promoting sales by showing customers how to wear fashion goods in a trendy, stylish manner. This work may require you to travel to different store locations and work with retail staff.

What Education or Training Would I Need?

Although experience in retail sales once led to management opportunities, in today's world you should consider obtaining an associate's or bachelor's degree. Depending on your area of interest, you could obtain a degree in marketing, merchandising or business management. These degree options are available with an emphasis on retail operations, and fashion merchandising as a major is available at some colleges. With a college degree you may then obtain employment as an entry-level assistant or manager trainee.

For a fashion buyer, on-the-job training in retail sales and merchandise inventory can provide a foundation for greater responsibilities. As you move forward in this profession, you may consider obtaining certification by attending professional development seminars. Your options include the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) from the Institute for Supply Management and the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) or Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) from the American Purchasing Society. For retail store managers, the National Professional Certification in Retail Management is available through the National Retail Federation (NRF).

To become a visual merchandise manager, you may want to develop additional skills related to computer graphic software. Specifically, you might consider learning Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, although Illustrator is of less importance. Certificates for learning these software programs are available from a variety of learning institutions.

What Income Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2015, the median salary for a retail buyer was $52,940. For a retail store manager, the median annual salary was $38,310. As a merchandise displayer, you could have expected to earn $26,870, the 2015 median annual salary reported by the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals interested in a career in fashion marketing and management might also want to consider some alternative careers which require a similar level of education. For example, lodging managers may only need a high school diploma. They work in hotels or motels to ensure they are run effectively and that guests have a good experience. Photographers also only need to have a high school diploma and experience with a camera. They can work in a wide variety of contexts to tell a story or record a moment. Art directors need to have a bachelor's degree in a related field, as well as relevant work experience. They work for a variety of companies, including magazine publishers and movie production organizations, to create the look of a particular product.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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