What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Fashion Designer?

Developing the creative, technical and business skills to work in the fashion industry usually requires completing a bachelor's degree program. Read on to learn more about the educational requirements for fashion designers, as well as the job outlook and salary potential for this field. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Description

Fashion designers work in the retail industry creating clothes, jewelry, shoes and accessories. You might create designs for a mass market or for a boutique-style, individualized market. Fashion designers have both creative, as well as technical skills. These skills range from drawing and sewing to using industry-specific software, such as CAD (computer-aided design). In addition to being able to develop, design and create apparel, you are usually aware of trends and markets as it relates to the industry.

Important Facts About Fashion Designers

Work Environment Design studios, offices
Key Skills Artistic sense, creativity, communication
Certification Voluntary certification in sewing and design is available
Similar Occupations Industrial designers, floral designers, art directors, graphic designers, models, purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents

Educational Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that a bachelor's degree related to fashion design is usually needed to gain an entry-level position in the industry (www.bls.gov). A common type of degree is the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), which may have a major in fashion or fashion design. You might also get to pursue a specialization, such as knitwear, intimate apparel, visual merchandising, textiles, special occasion wear or children's wear.

BFA Program Requirements

A BFA program in fashion or fashion design provides you with opportunities to study in-depth topics through electives or core curriculum, and studio courses give you hands-on experience. In addition to studying fashion, you might also take courses in business or merchandising. Although your chosen specialization can affect your program's curriculum requirements, common topics of study include the following:

  • 2-D and 3-D fashion design
  • Fashion drawing
  • Sewing techniques
  • Art and fashion history
  • Fashion color
  • Textiles
  • Fashion draping

Before you graduate, you will usually create a portfolio and complete an internship. You might also write and present a thesis.

Employment Outlook and Salary Overview

According to the BLS, fashion designers will experience a three percent increase in employment opportunities from 2016-2026. The BLS expects that the growing popularity of trendy clothing may positively affect demand. Competition is high in the fashion industry, but fashion designers can improve their prospects by having experience, a degree and a strong portfolio. Average wages for these professionals were $87,610, as of May 2018, stated the BLS.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Winthrop University

    Winthrop University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Winthrop University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Michigan State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: East Lansing
  • Iowa State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Ames
  • Texas Tech University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Lubbock
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Montclair State University

    Campus Locations:

    • New Jersey: Montclair