Fashion Sales Representative: Job Description & Career Info

Fashion sales representatives typically work for clothing manufacturing companies, and their main duties include persuading buyers and retail purchasing agents to buy their company's products. To learn more about education requirements, job growth and salaries for fashion sales reps, read on!

Career Definition for a Fashion Sales Representative

Fashion sales representatives are responsible for selling accessories or garments to buyers from retail stores or wholesalers. Their customer service duties can include meeting with potential buyers and arranging special events, such as trunk shows or in-store fashion shows. International and domestic travel may also be required for fashion sales representatives.

Required Education No minimum education requirement, but sales experience may be important and on-the-job training is usually provided; some employers require a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising or marketing
Job Skills Outgoing personality, confidence, communication skills, leadership skills, creativity
Mean Salary (2018)* $69,480 for all wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, excluding those who sell technical and scientific products
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 5% increase for all wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

There is no minimum educational requirement to work as a fashion sales representative, and in the past, experience in sales had been the most important factor for finding a job in the field. However, more employers are seeking candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising or marketing. Some companies provide training programs, which may last up to two years. In most cases, newly hired fashion sales representatives will be trained by more experienced workers.

Skills Required

In addition to knowledge of the products, fashion sales representative must be outgoing and confident when meeting new people. A love for fashion and an interest in working with a variety of people are also necessary. Leadership qualities, creativity in marketing and effective communication skills, which include listening to the needs of customers, are also helpful.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected average growth of 5% for all wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives nationwide between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also reported that the mean annual earnings of manufacturing and wholesale sales representatives, excluding those who sell technical and scientific products, were $69,480 in May 2018, but notes that bonuses and commissions for this industry can be generous (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options include:

Advertising Sales Agents

In general, advertising sales agents are responsible for persuading businesses or people to buy space in a publication. Their duties can include making cold calls and presentations and managing existing accounts. While entry-level positions may be obtained with only a high school diploma, some potential employers might show a preference for candidates with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study. According to the BLS, advertising sales agents who were employed in May 2018 earned an annual mean wage of $63,360, and a 4% decline in employment nationwide was anticipated between 2016 and 2026.

Purchasing Managers, Buyers and Purchasing Agents

Purchasing agents and managers, as well as buyers, perform a variety of duties related to the acquisition of consumer and other products. Their activities can include assessing potential suppliers and product quality or negotiating contracts. Entry-level purchasing requirements include a high school diploma, with a bachelor's or even a master's degree required for buyer or upper-level positions. Between 2016 and 2026, the employment of purchasing agents and buyers is expected by the BLS to decrease by 3%. In May 2018, purchasing managers had a mean salary of $125,630 per year, while buyers and purchasing agents had a mean salary of $67,530.


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