Find a school near you!

Computer-Aided Designer - Fashion Career Profile

Written by FS StaffNovember 3, 2011
Computer-Aided Designer

What do Computer-Aided Designers do? Where do Computer-Aided Designers work? FS takes a look:

About Computer-Aided Designers

Computer-aided designers in the fashion industry use computer software to create sketches and other designs used to create clothes, accessories, shoes, intimate apparel, and more. Computer-aided design or “CAD” is fast becoming the future of sketching in the fashion industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a growing number of fashion designers translate hand sketches to the computer, which allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual models and in various colors and shapes. This saves time by requiring fewer adjustments of prototypes and samples later.

Computer-Aided Designer Jobs What do computer-aided designers do and where do they work?

Computer-aided designers use computer software to create sketches of designs. They use the software to create prototypes for clients, employers or for designs that will eventually become a part of their own private collections. Computer-aided designers work for retail companies, fashion designers, textile companies, apparel manufacturers, and design studios.

Computer-Aided Designer Salaries

Computer-aided designer salaries vary based on factors such as the size and type of the company, location, education, and experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salaries for computer-aided designers in the fashion industry, however, several websites offer salary information for computer-aided design positions in places such as New York and Ohio. Indeed reports an average salary of $60,000 per year for New York CAD assistant fashion designers, while Salary Quest places the average at around $58,000 for New Albany, Ohio CAD designers.

Programs to Consider:

Becoming a Computer-Aided Designer

Computer-aided designers in the fashion industry typically have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising, fine art with a computer-aided design focus, computer-aided design, or industrial design. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in any of the areas listed (or a related field), most employers prefer applicants with solid experience in the industry.

It is virtually impossible to obtain a position as a computer-aided designer without creativity and technical knowledge. According to the Bureau, while applicants must have advanced knowledge of CAD software other qualifications are just as important. Manual sketching ability is still essential as well as a sense of balance and proportion and an eye for color and detail.

Job Trends for Computer-Aided Designers

Because CAD is becoming more popular in the fashion industry, aspiring designers with CAD experience will likely have more opportunities than designers without it. Employment of fashion designers overall is expect to average 1 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. According to the Bureau, the best job opportunities will be in design firms that design mass-market clothing sold in department stores and retail chain stores, such as apparel wholesale firms.