He worked as a partner in Oldham company Potts, Pickup & Dixon (run by fellow Methodists) from 1880 to around 1889 when he set up his own practice. In 1906 Dixon's son Ernest joined the practice and it became F. W. Dixon & Son. By that time Frederick Dixon had built 12 cotton mills in Oldham.
In his early mills Dixon used yellow brick to decorate the facades. His later mills used pronounced piers or buttresses between the windows, extending unbroken from the ground to the parapet. The water tower designs drew from a variety architectural styles.
The Dixons designed 22 mills in Oldham contained 1.8 million spindles, making him responsible for about 30% of capacity increase at that time.