Fashion Model

Occupation Information table
Overview: Models wear clothing and apparel to display merchandise before prospective buyers at fashion shows, private showings, retail establishments or photographers. Some models pose for photos to be used for advertising or as subjects for paintings and sculptures.
Duties: Models wear, pose with, or use products ranging from detergents to clothing, to computers to display and advertise them.

Print or photographic models pose for pictures that appear in magazines, newspapers or catalogues. Fashion models work for clothing manufacturers, dress designers, department stores or dress salons. They may work as runway models at fashion shows, turning and walking to display clothing for buyers. Other fashion models work in department stores to display clothing. Showroom or fitting models exhibit clothing and accessories for buyers in manufacturers' showrooms. They are busiest in spring and fall when new designs are shown. Models with acting experience may appear on television commercials to showcase consumer products. Artist models pose for art classes and professional artists such as painters, sculptors and photographers. Some models specialize as parts models where a part of their body such as a hand is photographed to display a product.

Models work in all kinds of environments and settings, frequently under uncomfortable conditions holding awkward body positions for up to 30 minutes. They work closely with photographers and artists to create the look the client wants.

Most models work for employers on a freelance basis with temporary assignments that may last a day to a month. They work through agents to promote themselves. Auditions and bookings are set up by the agency for a percentage of the model's earnings. Models maintain portfolios of photos from previous jobs and increasingly a video for clients to view.

Models maintain tight schedules and they must be persistent and patient as they build their career. Most models experience periods of unemployment. Because fashion and styles change frequently, demand for a certain look may change. Modeling careers are typically brief.

Degree(s): A.S. Dance 
A.S. Theatre: Concentrations in Acting or Technical Theatre 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is expected have little or no change from 2018 to 2028. For comparison, the average growth rate for all occupations over the same time period is projected to be 5% to 8%.
Starting Salary: Only a handful of professional models ever attain superstar status with higher than average salaries. Beginning models may only get enough assignments to work a few hours a week. Most models do not get enough assignments to fully support themselves and must augment their incomes with other jobs.
Salary Range (National Average): $15,000 to $17,000
Education Level: The typical training required for this career is generally a High School Degree or GED Certificate.
Additional Training/Education: No formal training is required for a career in modeling. Modeling schools provide training in posing and makeup application but such training does not neccsarily lead to job opportunities. Some agents prefer models without previous training or experience. Training in dance, voice and acting allows a model to compete for television work. Bookkeeping and math is helpful to models in keeping track of their freelance finances.
Advancement Info: Advancement for fashion or photographic models takes the form of higher wages and greater demand for their work. Selecting an agent with good skills and a solid reputation can help a model's advancement. In addition, a good portfolio with high-quality photos can help in getting assignments. However, modeling careers are usually short and success is rare. It is difficult for an older model to compete with a younger model for the same job. Even success can shorten a model's career. When a model appears too often in magazines and elsewhere, other models with new faces and looks may be preferred to one who have had wide coverage. Many fashion models learn enough on the job to move into careers in fashion design, public relations, or retail sales. Others work for modeling agencies or open their own agencies. Modeling can also lead to consulting jobs in fashion or merchandising. Some models become actors or actresses.
Recommended Skills:
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
  • Dance, drama, music, that is, things that are performed in front of an audience.
  • Persuading, encouraging and motivating others to accept your ideas.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
Recommended Values:
  • Being involved in helping other people in a direct way either individually or in a small group.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.