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Costume Designer

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Costume designers create costumes for film, television or theatre productions. In small companies they will also fit, alter and repair and clean them.

The Work

You could be:

Pay

Pay rates vary, depending on:

Starting salaries for qualified costume designers in the UK tend to be around £16,000 to £18,000 a year. Some experienced designers may be able to earn between £20,000 and £40,000 a year.

Freelance costume designers charge a fee, which varies depending on the production and their reputation. The better known they are, the more they can charge. The trade union Equity can help with negotiation. The BECTU website lists minimum pay rate desirable for costume designers on a low budget production (under £1.5 million) as about £220.00 for a 10-hour day and £1,100 for a 5-day week.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

For art school courses you need to apply through UCAS. Some courses have a closing date of 15th January and others have the closing date of 24th March.

Application to the RCS is through UCAS Conservatoires. The application date can differ from other courses. Details are on the RCS website.

Entry to this work is very competitive. You need to build up contacts through amateur and voluntary work. You can advertise yourself and your specialist skills on the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD) website.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2018
2598
2.1 %
RISE
2023
2652
  United Kingdom
2018
42759
2.8 %
RISE
2023
43972

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:

Training

Getting On

More Information

Young Scot and Creative Scotland operate the 'Nurturing Talent - Time to Shine Fund', which aims to support young people aged 11-25 and interested in developing creative or artistic skills. Both individuals and groups can apply for funding ranging from £50 to £1,000. For more information see the Young Scot website.

Take a look at The Stage online magazine for information on jobs and auditions.

The Creative and Cultural Skills website has a section called Creative Choices which has information on working in the theatre industry, including costume design.

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

Chartered Society of Designers (CSD)
Tel: 020 7357 8088
E-mail: info@csd.org.uk
Website: http://www.csd.org.uk
Twitter: @csdminerva
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charteredsocietyofdesigners

Creative and Cultural Skills
E-mail: info@ccskills.org.uk
Website: http://www.ccskills.org.uk/
Website (2): https://ccskills.org.uk/careers
Twitter: @CCskills
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccskills

Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts. Creative Choices is their career information website.

Creative Skillset Scotland
Tel: 020 7713 9800
E-mail: info@creativeskillset.org
Website: http://creativeskillset.org/
Twitter: @SkillsetSSC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creativeskillset

Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD)
E-mail: admin@theatredesign.org.uk
Website: http://www.theatredesign.org.uk/
Twitter: @weareSBTD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/46932887747

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Career Area

Art and Design

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Fine Art or Graphic Design

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