Estimated Salary (in NYC): $40,000
Where to Apply: In-store, company websites, monster.com
How to Make It: A four-year degree will help set you apart from the mallrats for this gig. It also helps if you can count money really well, and can be trusted to open and close a store all by yourself.
If you ever thought of owning your own boutique, it would help to know how to run a store first. Working for a corporate chain or franchise not only gives you the experience of running a shop, it also helps you develop a bird's-eye-view of how the industry operates. You'll notice things like how Fall/Winter clothes arrive in late August and Spring/Summer clothes hit stores around January, you'll witness firsthand the kind of things that are flying off the racks, and develop a knack for trends and what's hot in the streets.
If you're really good at it, you could move up the ranks as a district or regional manager, or make the hop into buying. Remember, the business side of fashion is definitely more lucrative than the design side. Designers, stylists, and models only serve to sell the clothes. It's the people that can move those products that are really making bank.