6 careers with more freedom to dress how you want
Debra Auerbach, CareerBuilder Writer
For some, having to wear a uniform or suit to work every day may be a blessing. Not everyone enjoys buying clothes or putting together a work-appropriate outfit. For others, fashion is a form of personal expression. They look forward to creating outfits and don't want to be restricted by a formal office dress code. And then there are the workers who put comfort before all else and dream of a pajama-only office environment.
If you want the freedom to wear your fashion-forward wardrobe or the most comfortable sweats in your closet, here are six occupations with loose dress codes.
1. Fashion designer: If you love fashion, then seeking a fashion-related career is a no-brainer. And if you want total control over your wardrobe, then why not become a fashion designer and make your own clothes? It's a competitive, cutthroat industry, so if it's your passion, gain the fundamental skills by getting a degree in fashion design. You should also take business and marketing classes, so you know how to sell. Pursue relevant internships too, even if they're unpaid, to strengthen your résumé.
Average annual pay*: $73,930
2. Photographer: They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so as a photographer, it's your job to capture those special, no-words-required moments. While some commercial and news photographers may work for organizations with specific dress codes, many photographers work for a smaller studio or own their own business, giving them more freedom in their outfit choices. Since photographers often travel to offsite locations for shoots and move around to get the right shots, dressing for comfort may be the best bet. Yet, since it's a creative field, there's room for originality in the wardrobe.
Average annual pay: $36,580
3. Publicist: As a publicist, your job is to get press coverage for your client. Since many publicists work with high-profile or celebrity clientele, it's often important to look polished and professional but also fashion-forward. According to The Princeton Review, publicists often have a bachelor's degree in journalism or communications, but having a business background can be a plus. Many start their career as an intern, which may require some less-than-glamorous grunt work. But hey, at least they look good while doing it.
Average annual pay: $60,400
4. Radio announcer: As a radio announcer, your voice is your vehicle of expression. Your appearance is less important, so if you work in this profession, you can usually dress for comfort. While most of the time you won't be seen by anyone but your co-workers, some stations may broadcast video clips of radio shows on their website. You may also need to step up your outfit when making appearances or broadcasting remotely. But even in those situations, you'll probably never need to wear a suit.
Average annual pay: $40,510
5. Software engineer: According to recent data from national employment resources and CareerBuilder's Supply & Demand Portal, job listings for software engineers have grown by 74 percent year-over-year. Due to the high demand for these workers, companies have to compete for talent. One way of luring job seekers is by offering excellent benefits, including a wear-what-you-want dress code. These workers log long hours developing applications for computers and other devices, so dressing comfortably is key.
Average annual pay: $96,620
6. Writer: According to the BLS, 68 percent of writers are self-employed, giving them authority over their outfit choices. Writers that work from home have the most freedom, and pajamas or sweats may be the work wardrobe of choice. When on assignment or conducting an interview, writers may dress more formally or mold their style to match the environment or culture of the assignment.
Average annual pay: $68,060
*Average annual pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Debra Auerbach is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.