Average Estimated Salary (in NYC): $35,000
When actresses-turned-designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen brought out members of their design team to share the applause after showing their label's Fall/Winter 2014 show, it was not only a humble gesture, but also a reminder that a designer doesn't create a collection on their own.
Prepare to be paid in pennies, but the lessons you'll learn about this industry will be invaluable. Design assistants don't do much sketching, but they do get first looks at fabric swatches and they get to travel to tradeshows. They are a designer's backbone and will be there to bounce ideas back and forth with the rest of the design team. Without them, some of your favorite collections probably wouldn't exist. Plus, countless design assistants have gone on to launch their own highly-successful endeavors.