How to Start Your Career as a Floral Designer

How to Start Your Career as a Floral DesignerDoes it seem like things are just coming up roses? Perhaps lilies, tulips or daisies? If your fascination with flowers keeps combining with your imagination and design skills, maybe it’s time to consider a career as a floral designer.

Job Overview
High School or GED
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

As a floral designer, or florist, you have a large variety of tasks on a daily basis. You help to create appropriate floral displays by assisting customers in choose containers, suitable flowers and ribbons. You work to create designs from a simple single arrangement to complex designs and complimentary motifs for large scale events. You also order or raise flowers and greenery for use in arrangements, determine the times and places for deliveries, sanitize work stations, purchase supplies, wrap and price arrangements, use tools and supplies to trim and shape arrangements, perform office and retail tasks and instruct customers in care and maintenance of their plants and arrangements.

Requirements and Qualifications

When working as a floral designer, you must have excellent communication skills to properly communicate with customers as to the type of display, occasion, time, date and location that it will be needed. In addition, creativity and artistic talent is necessary to create unique and well thought out displays. Customer service skills will also be helpful for assisting customers.

Typical Education

A certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in floral design is helpful when beginning a career as a florist. Certificates are available from the American Institute of Floral Designers, or A.I.F.D., a national association that also provides ongoing education for a reasonable fee. Your educational experience will include learning about a variety of different flowers and how to handle them, design principles, advertising and marketing as well as business management are considered core educational requirements for this type of education. Pursuing certification or a degree is the best course of action for advancement within a shop or before beginning your own floral business enterprise. Continuing education is also helpful in that it will keep you on top of current design and business trends, new markets and research in the industry.

Steps to Become a Floral Designer

It is common you to start your career as a floral designer by serving as a cashier or delivery driver for a more experienced florist. You will then begin basic tasks such as tying bows, preparing flower food solutions and stripping leaves that would be below the waterline in a design. You will also work on simple design projects, such as bouquets and corsages, and proceed to more difficult tasks as time passes. During this time, you will also learn how to handle particular types of flowers, the suitability of particular flowers to differing situations and important properties, such as carnations not requiring much water and lilies being poisonous to house cats.

Related Careers

Similar positions to floral design include art directors, craft and fine artists, fashion designers, graphic designers, interior designers, industrial designers and meeting, convention and event planners. These positions all require a certain amount of creativity and imagination to assist their customers’ unique needs, as well as customer service skills, business management knowledge and advertising, display and marketing skills.


The average annual income of a floral designer in 2010 was $23,610. Though normal employment as a florist is full time, there are seasonal opportunities around holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas.

Job Outlook

The need for floral designers is anticipated to decline by 9% between 2010 and 2020, with a shift between type of business used for purchases. It is expected that floral shops will see a 29% decline in employment while grocery stores or similar general merchandise stores will see an 8% increase in employment in floral designers.

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