Fashion Coordinator Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

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Learn about a fashion coordinator's job duties, salary and educational requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a fashion coordinator's career.
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Pros and Cons of a Fashion Coordinator Career

Fashion coordinators, also referred to as fashion directors, are professionals who create the fashion look in stores, fashion magazines or design houses. Reading the pros and cons of being a fashion coordinator may help you decide if this is the right career for you.

Pros of Being a Fashion Coordinator
Higher-than-average wage (mean wage of $137,400 as of May 2014 for marketing managers)*
Management positions possible with experience**
Training may offer opportunities to travel abroad*

Cons of Being a Fashion Coordinator
Work may require meeting deadlines, making it stressful*
May be required to work long hours**
Must constantly keep up with latest trends and adjust business plans accordingly**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Virginia Tech.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Fashion coordinators play an important role in the fashion industry. Their knowledge of fashion and fashion trends allow them to advise fashion merchandisers what products have good selling potential. They also share their analysis and experience with fashion buyers and help them make wise decisions when ordering and stocking inventory. Additionally, fashion coordinators oversee promotional fashion photography shoots and help organize fashion shows. Fashion coordinators also work with fabric wholesalers or suppliers to make sure ordered supplies are on schedule and in the same designs, colors and fabrics as ordered.

Job Prospects and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups fashion coordinators with marketing, advertising and promotions managers. According to the BLS, marketing managers were predicted to see an employment growth of 13% from 2012-2022. Workers with knowledge of Internet-based advertising should see better employment prospects. The BLS also reported that marketing managers earned a median salary of about $127,000 as of May 2014.

What Are the Requirements?

If you want to be a fashion coordinator, you're usually required to have formal training. An associate's degree in fashion merchandising, along with on-the-job training, may be sufficient for entry-level positions. However, fashion directors or similar upper-level positions typically require completion of a bachelor's degree program focusing on fashion design or fashion merchandising.

Course topics may include consumer textiles, retailing and consumer behavior, fashion merchandising and case studies in fashion. In addition to the hands experience gained through internships, students may also have study-abroad opportunities.

Top Skills for Fashion Coordinators

In addition to earning degrees and obtaining work experience, fashion coordinators should possess other skills to be more successful in their careers. Skills that may be helpful include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Creativity
  • Management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Motivation

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employment opportunities and education requirements may vary from employer to employer. Although this isn't a complete picture of what you'll find once you hit the job market, here are a few job postings to give you a general idea of what to expect. These postings are from May 2012.

  • An e-commerce coordinator is needed to assist with marketing at a New York fashion manufacturing company. Candidates will supervise marketing in the e-commerce department of all divisions. The individual will also be responsible for managing and developing product set up, layout and management, as well as other tasks as needed. Applicants should have experience with fashion and social media and at least one year of experience working in marketing and the e-commerce industry.
  • A California fashion company is seeking an experienced online marketing fashion director to supervise their online marketing. Duties include developing marketing strategies and improvement processes, creating Web advertising campaigns and assisting with branding. Applicants must have experience with CPC (Cost-per-Click), PPC (Pay-per-Click), SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), Google AdWords, Google Analytics and affiliate marketing.
  • A NYC fashion company is in need of a sourcing/production coordinator to work as part of their fashion company. A candidate will work and communicate with shipping and ordering agents overseas, as well as in factories. He or she will also work with design and sales team, while monitoring production tracking. Applicants must have experience with fashion, sewing and knitting and also working with private labels. The company also prefers individuals with at least one year of experience in the industry.
  • A hosiery production coordinator is needed to work in a NY fashion/apparel and textile company. The candidate will communicate daily with overseas suppliers and vendors and will act as a liaison between the designers, salespeople, logistics team and planners on all production issues. Applicants must have at least two years of experience in hosiery-related production and must be familiar with Microsoft Office products. Candidates should be detail-oriented and have excellent organizational skills.

How to Get an Edge in the Field

Earning your degree is the first step towards starting your career as a fashion designer. However, there are extra steps you can take to give you an edge in the field. For instance, while completing a 2-year associate's degree program can get you into the field, earning a bachelor's degree can increase your chances of obtaining an upper level or manager position. Taking advantage of apprenticeships, internships and study-abroad programs can increase your experience and make your resume more appealing to employers.

Other Fields to Consider

Sales Manager

If you enjoy the idea of helping to promote sales and motivating others to do the same, becoming a sales manager may be a good fit for you. As a company's sales manager, you'll oversee local and regional sales, assist with customer complaints, analyze customer sales and develop training programs for staff. According to the BLS, sales managers earned a mean annual wage of near $117,000 as of May 2011. Becoming a sales manager requires completion of at least a bachelor's degree program and work experience. Employment growth for these workers was predicted to be 12% from 2010-2020, reported the BLS.

Fashion Designer

Fashion designers are the masterminds behind the fashion designs and clothing lines that fashion coordinators try to sell. The BLS predicted that fashion designers would see little or no employment growth from 2010-2020. As of 2011, fashion designers earned a mean annual wage of about $74,000, according to the BLS. Although the wage and employment growth is not as good as fashion coordinators, fashion designers are not usually required to complete as much education and training.

Interior Designer

If you're an individual with a creative mind and an eye for beauty, you may find a career as an interior designer very rewarding. Although, according to the BLS, interior designers earned around $53,000 in 2011 - substantially lower than fashion coordinators - they were predicted to see an employment growth of 19% from 2010-2020. The BLS also stated that you typically need to complete at least a bachelor's degree program in interior design or a related field and obtain experience, although educational requirements may vary. You may also need to be licensed, depending on the state where you live. As an interior designer, you may have a choice of different specialties, such as kitchen or bath design.

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