Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations! By visiting our webpage, you are taking positive steps toward a brighter future. Many students like you have wondered how the program can help them create the career they’ve always wanted in the apparel industry. We’ve compiled some of our most Frequently Asked Questions so you can find out a little more about our program, to see if it’s right for you.

Is there anything I can do to prepare myself for classes at Stout?

  • Basic sewing skills and general knowledge of how a garment is constructed.

  • Basic drawing and art skills

  • Basic computer skills and Internet usage, including sending and receiving e-mail

  • Foreign language, especially Spanish, is valuable

  • Awareness of fashion trends (magazines such as Seventeen, W, Vogue, Mode, and Elle)

What kind of jobs will I be able to find after graduation?

Some of the jobs in apparel design include:

  • Designer: concepts, sketches, fabrics and trends. Oversees design room, design assistants, patternmakers, sample makers and artists.

  • Associate Designer: works with designer on all aspects of design.

  • Assistant Designer: works with associate designer or with the designer.

  • Technical Designer: strong patternmaking, fit and grading skills. Garment specifications.

  • CAD operator/designer: computers for pattern making, size grading and marker-material utilization.

Some of the jobs in apparel product development include:

  • Apparel Engineer: establishes production methods, pay systems and trouble-shoots. Works to improve production operations and labor efficiency.

  • Apparel Cost Engineer: develops costing for production of garments.

  • Production Management: works with sewing operators and engineers in a team environment.

  • Quality Manager: establishes procedures to assure consistency.

For additional information about jobs in the apparel industry, see the "Stout Graduates at Work" page.

What is the starting salary?

Starting salaries for 2009–2010 program graduates ranged from $25,000 to $60,000 plus company benefits and commissions. Salaries tend to rise rapidly with advanced experience. Relocation may be necessary for career advancement. Travel is often required.

What are some of the companies that graduates work at?

  • Williamson-Dickey
  • OshKosh B'Gosh
  • Wrangler
  • Russell Corporation
  • Lands' End, Inc.
  • LL Bean
  • Meca Sportswear
  • Stearns
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Target
  • Wilsons, The Leather Experts

For answers to questions not addressed here, contact the program director at the address, telephone, or e-mail address listed on the home page.