Description: Shoe designers are specialized fashion designers that create original footwear. They sketch designs, select materials and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they design.
Knowledge Required: Principles and techniques of art and design, technical understanding of the production process, material science, math, and basic physiology
Skills:Artistic ability, creativity, communication, problem solving, time management, attention to detail, and computer skills
Career Path: Although postsecondary education is not required for fashion designers, many take classes or earn a 2-year or 4-year degree in a related field, such as art, product design, or fashion merchandising. A strong portfolio of design ideas is critical for finding employment. Shoe and other fashion designers often gain experience through internships or working as an assistant designer.
Best Cities for this job: New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have the highest concentration of fashion designers.
Median Annual Income: National: $64,690 California: $63,700
Future Growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistic predicts little to no change in overall employment of fashion designers from 2010 to 2020. Some growth is projected in specialized design firms and in performing arts and sport industries.
From the field: “There's always somebody who thinks your idea is not going to work. I think that's the hardest part about getting started with a product, is to have the confidence to keep moving forward.” – Shane Rattazzi, co-founder of DZR Shoes
Did You Know?:The first successful clipless cycling shoe was created in 1984 by ski binding manufacturer, LOOK.View more Day in the Life videos »