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Career and Education Opportunities for Fashion Designers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for fashion designers in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. The national trend for fashion designers sees this job pool growing by about 0.8% over the next eight years. Fashion designers generally design clothing and accessories.

A person working as a fashion designer can expect to earn about $20 per hour or $42,030 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $29 per hour or $61,160 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for fashion designers are better than in the overall category of Art and Design in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Art and Design category nationally. People working as fashion designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: apparel fashion designer, product developer, and fur finisher tailor.

There are 156 schools of higher education in the Philadelphia area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree to start your career as a fashion designer. Fashion designers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a fashion designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fashion designers design clothing and accessories. They also create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends.

Fashion designers examine sample garments on and off models; then modify designs to produce desired effects. They also furnish sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and manage showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows. Equally important, fashion designers have to sketch rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and write specifications such as color schemes and accessory requirements. They are often called upon to visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics. They are expected to attend fashion shows and review garment magazines and manuals so as to gather data related to fashion trends and consumer preferences. Finally, fashion designers direct and schedule staff involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.

Every day, fashion designers are expected to be able to be creative and generate new ideas. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for fashion designers to collaborate with other designers to direct special products and designs. They are often called upon to decide on materials and production techniques to be used for products. They also adapt other designers' concepts for the mass market. They are sometimes expected to purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to finish designs. Somewhat less frequently, fashion designers are also expected to test fabrics or oversee testing so that garment care labels can be created.

Fashion designers sometimes are asked to draw patterns for articles designed; then cut patterns, and cut material in line with patterns, using measuring instruments and scissors. They also have to be able to sew together sections of material to fashion mockups or samples of garments or articles, using sewing equipment And finally, they sometimes have to visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics.

Like many other jobs, fashion designers must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Philadelphia include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fashion Designer Training

Philadelphia University - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia University, School House Lane and Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144-5497. Philadelphia University is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,373 students and an admission rate of 70%. Philadelphia University has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

Moore College of Art and Design - Philadelphia, PA

Moore College of Art and Design, 20th and the Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1179. Moore College of Art and Design is a small college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 556 students and an admission rate of 59%. Moore College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design.

Harcum College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Harcum College, 750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3470. Harcum College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 913 students and an admission rate of 29%. Harcum College has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated three students in 2008.

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drexel University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,754 students and an admission rate of 68%. Drexel University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated twenty-five and four students respectively in 2008.

University of Delaware - Newark, DE

University of Delaware, , Newark, DE 19716. University of Delaware is a large university located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,500 students and an admission rate of 58%. University of Delaware has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated twelve students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

The Art Institute of Philadelphia, 1622 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5198. The Art Institute of Philadelphia is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,545 students and an admission rate of 46%. The Art Institute of Philadelphia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated forty-one and forty students respectively in 2008.

Burlington County College - Pemberton, NJ

Burlington County College, 601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Road, Pemberton, NJ 08068-1599. Burlington County College is a medium sized college located in Pemberton, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,688 students. Burlington County College has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.