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Summary Report for:
27-1022.00 - Fashion Designers

Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

Sample of reported job titles: Apparel Fashion Designer, Clothing Designer, Costume Designer, Dance Costume Designer, Design Director, Designer, Fashion Designer, Historic Clothing and Costume Maker, Latex Fashions Designer, Product Developer

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Direct and coordinate workers involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine sample garments on and off models, modifying designs to achieve desired effects. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sketch rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and write specifications such as color schemes, construction, material types, and accessory requirements. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with sales and management executives or with clients to discuss design ideas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify target markets for designs, looking at factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Attend fashion shows and review garment magazines and manuals to gather information about fashion trends and consumer preferences. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select materials and production techniques to be used for products. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and arrange for showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Adapt other designers' ideas for the mass market. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to complete designs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collaborate with other designers to coordinate special products and designs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design custom clothing and accessories for individuals, retailers, or theatrical, television, or film productions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine prices for styles. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Draw patterns for articles designed, cut patterns, and cut material according to patterns, using measuring instruments and scissors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop a group of products or accessories, and market them through venues such as boutiques or mail-order catalogs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff to develop design concepts and plan productions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test fabrics or oversee testing so that garment care labels can be created. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sew together sections of material to form mockups or samples of garments or articles, using sewing equipment. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Cloth cutting machines — Industrial fabric cutting machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Curves — Drafting curves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Domestic clothing irons — Steam irons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Full body form or mannequin — Dress forms See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Graphics tablets — Computer drawing tablets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ironing machines or presses — Fabric pressing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scales — Drawing scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sewing machines — Industrial sewing machines; Sergers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sewing needles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sewing patterns — Garment templates See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Shears — Fabric shears See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Steam pressing machines — Fabric steamers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • T squares — Layout T-squares See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Financial accounting software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite; C-DESIGN Fashion; Patternmaking software; StartingAClothingLine.com Digital Fashion Pro (see all 7 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Autodesk SketchBook Pro; Lectra Prima Vision Print Repeat (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Draw detailed or technical illustrations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Study scripts to determine project requirements. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Promote products, activities, or organizations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Select materials or props. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Write informational material. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate design activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with others to develop or refine designs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor current trends. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct market research. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Build models, patterns, or templates. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 90% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 80% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 83% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 90% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 16% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 18% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 24% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 74% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 80% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 18% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 22% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 74% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 12% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 25% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 16% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 22% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 25% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 22% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
36   Associate's degree
25   Some college, no degree
24   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: AER

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $30.78 hourly, $64,030 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 22,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 5,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Fashion Designers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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