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Become A Florist

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Working As A Florist

  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $30,721

    Average Salary

What Does A Florist Do

Floral designers, also called florists, cut and arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers, containers, ribbons, and other accessories.

Duties

Floral designers typically do the following:

  • Grow flowers or order them from wholesalers, to ensure an adequate supply to meet customers’ needs
  • Determine the type of arrangement desired, the occasion, and the date, time, and location for delivery
  • Recommend flowers and greenery for each arrangement in accordance with the customer’s budget
  • Design floral displays that evoke a particular sentiment or style
  • Answer telephones, take orders, and wrap arrangements

Floral designers may create a single arrangement for a special occasion or design floral displays for rooms and open spaces for large-scale functions, such as weddings, funerals, or banquets. They use their sense of artistry and their knowledge of different types of flowers to choose the appropriate flowers for each occasion. Floral designers may also create single arrangements to serve a customer’s emotional needs, helping the customers to relax. Floral designers need to know what flowers are in season and when they will be available.

Floral designers also need to know the properties of each flower. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are more delicate and wilt more quickly. Some plants are poisonous to certain types of animals. For example, lilies are toxic to cats.

Floral designers must know the color varieties of each flower and the average size of each type of flower. They may calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals are needed to cover a carpet.

Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend flowers and designs to customers. After the customer selects the flowers, the designer arranges them in a visually appealing display. The designer may include items such as stuffed animals or balloons, or may use decorative vases, when designing a floral arrangement.

Although more complex displays must be ordered in advance, designers often will create small bouquets or arrangements while customers wait. When they are responsible for floral arrangements for a special occasion, such as a wedding or banquet, floral designers usually set up the floral decorations just before the event, then tear them down afterwards. Some designers work with event planners on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events such as weddings.

Floral designers also give customers instructions on how to care for flowers, including what the ideal temperature is and how often the water should be changed. For cut flowers, floral designers often will provide flower food to the customer.

Floral designers also order new flowers from suppliers. They process newly arrived flowers by stripping leaves that would be below the water line. They cut new flowers, mix flower food solutions, fill floral containers with the food solutions, and sanitize workspaces. They keep most flowers in cool display cases so that the flowers stay fresh and live longer.

Some designers have long-term agreements with hotels and restaurants or the owners of office buildings and private homes to replace old flowers with new flower arrangements on a recurring schedule—usually daily, weekly, or monthly—to keep areas looking fresh and appealing. Some work with interior designers in creating displays.

Floral designers who are self-employed or have their own shop also must do business tasks. They must keep track of income, expenses, and taxes. Some hire and supervise staff to help with those tasks.

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How To Become A Florist

Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job over the course of a few months.

Education

Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent. There are postsecondary programs that are useful for florists who want to start their own businesses. Programs in floral design and caring techniques for flowers are available through private floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. Most offer a certificate or diploma. Classes in flower and plant identification, floral design concepts, and advertising, as well as other business courses, plus experience working in a greenhouse are part of many certificate and diploma programs.

Some community colleges and universities offer associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs in floral design.

Training

New floral designers typically get hands-on experience working with an experienced floral designer. They may start by preparing simple flower arrangements and practicing the basics of tying bows and ribbons, cutting stems to appropriate lengths, and learning about the proper handling and care of flowers. They also learn about the different types of flowers, their growth properties, and how to use them in more complex floral designs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The American Institute of Floral Designers offers the Certified Floral Designer credential. Although certification in floral design is voluntary, it indicates a measure of achievement and expertise. To become certified, a floral designer must demonstrate a grasp of floral design knowledge gained through work experience or education.

Advancement

Taking formal floral design training can help people who are interested in opening their own business or in becoming a chief floral designer or supervisor.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Designers use their sense of style to develop aesthetically pleasing designs.

Creativity. Floral designers use their artistic abilities and knowledge of design to develop appropriate designs for different occasions. They also must be open to new ideas, because trends in floral design change quickly.

Customer-service skills. Floral designers spend a substantial part of their day interacting with customers and suppliers. They must be able to understand what a customer is looking for, explain options, and provide high-quality flowers and service.

Organizational skills. Floral designers need to be well organized, to keep the business operating smoothly and to ensure that orders are completed on time.

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Florist Career Paths

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Florist Demographics

Gender

Female

77.0%

Male

21.3%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

10.2%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.8%

French

10.8%

Hmong

3.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Italian

2.9%

Chinese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Polish

2.0%

Swedish

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Venda

1.0%

Dutch

1.0%
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Florist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.4%

Kaplan University

7.2%

Texas A&M University

6.5%

Brigham Young University

5.8%

Michigan State University

5.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.8%

University of Alabama

5.1%

University of Connecticut

5.1%

University of South Florida

4.3%

Lansing Community College

4.3%

University of Texas at San Antonio

4.3%

Northern Kentucky University

4.3%

University of Central Florida

4.3%

Bridgewater State University

4.3%

University of Georgia

4.3%

Liberty University

4.3%

Rockland Community College

3.6%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.6%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.6%

Hudson Valley Community College

3.6%
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Majors

Business

19.9%

Psychology

9.3%

Health Care Administration

6.0%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Graphic Design

5.2%

Accounting

5.0%

Nursing

4.6%

Education

4.6%

Communication

4.6%

General Studies

4.3%

Liberal Arts

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

3.8%

Plant Sciences

3.7%

English

3.4%

Applied Horticulture

3.3%

Biology

2.9%

Fine Arts

2.8%

Elementary Education

2.6%

Cosmetology

2.4%

Computer Science

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

36.7%

Bachelors

34.3%

Associate

15.1%

Certificate

6.8%

Masters

4.9%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Florist

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  1. Customer Service
  2. Flower Arrangements
  3. Delivery Instructions
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Increased customer confidence by facilitating excellent customer services that satisfied their needs.
  • Created flower arrangements and decorations for various occasions.
  • Selected the most efficient routes in compliance with delivery instructions and fuel policy.
  • Design floral arrangements for delivery and display cooler.
  • Managed all facets of day-to-day business administration, accounts payable/receivable, and payroll, ensuring an efficient operation.

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Top Florist Employers

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