While the criteria to become a model varies according to the type of modeling, a few standards are required of all models. Models typically need to have clear skin, healthy hair and good teeth. Most models also have a toned physique.

Editorial/Fashion Modeling Qualifications

Fashion Model Being Photographed in a Studio

Editorial and high fashion runway models have the strictest criteria. Women have to be at least 5 feet 8 inches tall, have a thin build with hips measuring no larger than 35 inches and be between the ages of 16 to 26. Most men models have to be at least 5 feet 11 inches with an athletic build.

Commerical Model Requirements

Man photographing woman holding hat

Commercial models have a much broader range for size, height and age. Normally, the model fits a certain type. For instance, one may be often cast as the grandmother, suburban mom, businessman or cowboy. These models appear in print and television ads for common products.

Catalog Modeling

Model Preparing Herself and a Man on a Mobile Phone Behind the Scenes at a Fashion Shoot

Catalog models have more relaxed guidelines than editorial models. However, they have to fit sample-sized clothing. Women must be at least 5 feet 6 inches tall, while men must be at least 5 feet 9 inches. Both men and women must be height/weight proportionate.

Fitness Modeling

gym personal trainer man with weight lifting bar woman

There is no height requirement for both sexes when it comes to fitness modeling. However, women must have a lean, muscular body. Male fitness models must have a muscular physique with a low percentage of body fat.

Plus Size Modeling Qualifications

The Look Show: London Fashion Week

Plus size models are held to the same strict standards as other fashion models except they are larger in size, wearing between a 10 to 18/20. Most plus size models fall between sizes 12 to 16. They must be at least 5 feet 8 inches tall and are height/weight proportionate; the shorter the model, the smaller her dress size must be.

Location

New York City

Models--especially editorial and in-demand plus models--are often required to live near a major fashion city. One may to relocate to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or Miami.