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Career Definition for a Boot Designer
Boot designers who work for well-known fashion labels may have different duties than those who are self-employed or work for small companies. In general, boot designers research footwear trends, sketch concepts, and craft boots from textiles and other materials. If they're employed by a company, boot designers also must present their ideas to management, working within any established design constraints. Self-employed boot designers must communicate with manufacturers and suppliers to ensure a marketplace for their products.
|Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in footwear design, apparel design, or fashion design|
|Job Skills||Computer-aided design (CAD) program literacy, drawing and sewing skills, creativity|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$67,420 (for all fashion designers)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||3% (slower than average; for all fashion designers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Boot designers benefit from formal training at art or fashion schools, 2-year technical or community colleges, or 4-year colleges or universities. An associate's or bachelor's degree in footwear design, apparel design, or fashion design is preferable for boot designers. Associate degree programs typically take one to two years, and bachelor's degrees can be completed in four to five years. Common courses for prospective boot designers may include design fundamentals, drawing, patternmaking, computer-aided design, and footwear design.
Boot designers must display creativity and the confidence, motivation, and communication skills needed to pitch and sell their designs. They also should have an eye for detail, color, fabric, and texture. Sketching and sewing skills are important for boot designers, as is knowledge of computer-aided design.
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Fashion designer jobs, including boot designer jobs, are quite competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for fashion designers is expected to be slower than average, at 3% from 2016 to 2026. Additionally, some jobs in boot design, such as manufacturing positions, are expected to be outsourced to foreign countries. The median annual income for all fashion designers was $67,420, according to BLS figures published in May 2017.
Alternative Career Options
Careers similar to a boot designer that you may be interested in include:
Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers
This category shares many of the same duties as boot designers, including measuring fabric and stitching clothes. Training occurs through postsecondary programs, apprenticeships or on-the-job work. Tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers should expect a 10% decline in jobs from 2016 to 2026. As of May 2017, the median salary was reported as $28,600.
These professionals display clothing and accessories and other items for various audiences. Formal education isn't necessary, but physical standards vary by client. The job outlook for models is expected to show a slight decline (-1%) from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. While income differs by state and industry, models made a median income of $22,900 per year in 2017.