If you are a creative person and enjoy making art out of real or fake flowers, you might be wondering how to become a floral designer. Flower arrangements are part of many social experiences and traditions, from gifts and décor for holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to occasions such as school proms, weddings and funerals. Floral designers, or florists, are the professionals who carefully and artistically assemble floral arrangements for these and other important events.
Nearly half of floral designers work in specialty florist shops and the remaining floral designers typically work in other types of retail stores, where they interact with customers one-on-one in person or over the phone. They consult with customers, listening carefully to what the customer wants, including colors, flower type, theme and budget. Floral designers may offer suggestions to help customers achieve the look they desire in their arrangements, such as advising customers on whether real or silk flowers would work better in a particular arrangement. After talking to the customer, floral designers use their artistic abilities and vision to create beautiful arrangements in time for the customer’s deadline. To successfully create floral works of art, these professionals must know how to acquire the flowers they need for an arrangement and how to care for those flowers to keep them looking healthy.
Some aspiring floral designers find entry-level positions without having any formal education beyond a high school degree. They may start off by making deliveries or managing the cash register at a florist shop and develop knowledge of flowers and floral design skills through on-the-job training under the guidance of an experienced florist, eventually earning a promotion to the position of floral designer. To improve their likelihood of securing their desired position in the competitive field of floral design, some candidates choose to attend a certificate program in floral design from a vocational school or community college. Certain institutions even offer associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs in floral design, which often cover business and advertising practices as well as experience working in a greenhouse and coursework in design techniques and recognizing and using different types of plants. To further improve their marketability, aspiring floral designers can seek the Certified Floral Designer certification from the American Institute of Floral Designers. For floral designers, personal characteristics such as artistic ability and customer-service skills are as important to achieving success as education and training.
Floral designers earn a median salary of $23,610 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. For many floral designers, the work they do is a labor of love. They are artists whose works have a place in many of the most joyous human events, as well as the most somber. If you have the skill to carefully make beautiful arrangements out of delicate real or faux flowers, knowing how to become a floral designer could be your first step toward a meaningful new career in the art of floristry.