Fashion buyers are highly trained professionals who deal with the purchasing of different types of fashion-related products and goods for their employees. The best candidates for a fashion buyer position tend to have an extreme interest in the fashion or clothing world and a strong understanding of different purchasing techniques. Fashion buyers require determination, negotiation skills, patience and perseverance. Also, they must be able to build and maintain relationships with supplier, clients and other professionals.
A survey conducted by PayScale with 5,009 individuals reporting found that fashion buyers receive an annual salary of $58,958 as of Janunary 2011. This position compares favorably with most other fashion related professions in the survey. The annual salary for an assistant fashion designer was $39,064 while a fashion designer earned a $56,813 salary. Retail store assistant managers earned $33,970 at clothing stores and managers earned $40,790. The only position surveyed that earned a greater salary than a fashion buyer was a district manager for a clothing retail store which earned $69,021.
The salary of fashion buyers is also favorable compared to other related buyer positions as wholesale and retail buyers in general earned a median annual salary of $48,710 as of May 2008. The middle 50 percent of the profession earned between $36,460 and $66,090. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,710 while the highest 10 percent earned above $90,100.
According to Connie Passarella, the director of career services at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, there are many opportunities for a fashion buyer to increase his or her salary within a company. She suggests studying for a fashion career in school and learning about the industry as much as possible. Starting with a sales associate job in the company you wish to work for is a positive thing to have on a resume when applying for the buyer position. If a company offers an executive training program, it can give buyers the chance to work their way up the company ladder. By taking some of these steps, Passarella states that buyers "can reach the $100,000 (salary) range with ease," according to an article for Monster.
According to the U.S. of Labor Statistics, wholesale and retail buyer professions, which include fashion buyers, are projected to decrease 2 percent during the projected decade of 2008 to 2018. This is has a much poorer outlook than the projected 11 percent increase of all jobs in general during the projected decade. Technological advances such as computerized systems increases the productivity for existing buyers and reduces the need to hire additional buyers. Buyers with the highest degree of education and the greatest amount of experience have the best chances of getting one of the limited opening jobs during the projected decade.