Being a florist is a great job if you are artistic, love flowers and enjoy working with the public. Florists usually work in flower shops. Some work in grocery stores or other retail environments. They create harmonious and eye-pleasing arrangements using flowers and other materials, and they help customers select the right arrangements for a wide variety of occasions.
Working as a florist is generally very pleasant, low-stress work. However, florist shops get very busy before and during holidays, and florists can expect to have to work long hours during those times.
Almost one-third of florists are self-employed, owning their own shops. The majority of florists work full-time, but part-time and seasonal work is also available.
High School or GED
High School or GED
A good florist enjoys working with both people and flowers. You should have excellent customer service skills, as well as a strong sense of color and design.
People buy flowers for many of life’s most important occasions, both happy and sad. Flowers may be given to set a romantic mood on a first date, or to cheer up a friend in the hospital. You should have the people skills that enable you to relate well to customers no matter what the occasion or mood and to give customers the help they need to select the right arrangements.
A typical florist has a high school diploma or GED and spends a few months learning on the job.
While higher education is not required, some florists may wish to attend professional classes and workshops to further their knowledge and skills. Some may wish to complete academic coursework or even a degree, especially if they are interested in getting a professional certification.
The types of education that are available for florists include:
- Individual college classes or degree or certificate programs in floricultural or horticultural studies given at community colleges or 4-year universities.
- Classes offered by the American Institute of Floral Designers.
- Workshops and classes given by private, vocational floral design schools.
Certification is not required to become a florist. Some florists, however, may choose to become certified floral designers in order to have access to more opportunities for career advancement, such as becoming a supervisor or opening their own business. For more information about becoming a certified florist, contact the American Institute of Floral Designers or your state florists’ association.
Steps to Become a Florist
After completing your high school education, you should look for a job in a florist’s shop. A good way to get your foot in the door is to seek an entry-level job as a cashier or delivery person.
After you have gotten a job, be prepared to spend several months learning the basics of the trade from your boss and/or co-workers. These include learning about the different kinds of flowers, how to care for them to keep them healthy and fresh, how to select flowers for arrangements, and how to use other materials to enhance arrangements, such as flowers, bows and containers.
People who enjoy using their artistic and design skills in a retail setting might also consider working in an art gallery or a home-furnishings store. Those who especially enjoy working with plants might seek employment in a gardening center or in the gift shop of a Botanical Gardens.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average florist makes $23,610 per year, or $11.35 per hour.
There are approximately 66,500 jobs for florists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a moderate decline in numbers of jobs available over the next decade.