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Costume Designer

Costume designer working on dress

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 £18,000 and £28,000 a year with highly experience designers earning £35,000.

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 starting pay rate desirable for costume designers on a feature film (£1-4 million) as about £329.90 for a 10-hour day and £1,649.50 for a 5-day week (50 hours). For a TV Drama this can range from £275.00 to £367.00 an hour (depending on budget) for a 10-hour day and between £1,375 and £1,835 for a 50 hour week.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

For art school courses you need to apply through UCAS. 

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

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2024
1637
1.6 %
RISE
2029
1663
  United Kingdom
2024
28080
4.5 %
RISE
2029
29354

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:

Training

Getting On

More Information

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

For more information on creative careers see Discover Creative Careers Finder

Video

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
Tel: 0141 370 1590
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

Discover Creative Careers Finder
Website: https://discovercreative.careers/#/
Twitter: @CreativeCareer5

ScreenSkills
Tel: 020 7713 9800
E-mail: info@screenskills.com
Website: https://www.screenskills.com
Twitter: @UKScreenSkills
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UKScreenSkills

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

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