Floral Designers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
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 certificates or associates degrees in floriculture/floristry operations and management.
Training Required
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. Floral designers also learn about the different types of flowers, their growth properties, and how to use them in more complex floral designs.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: -6% (Decline)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
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.
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.
Median pay: How much do Floral Designers make?
$25,850 Annual Salary
$12.43 per hour

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.

What do Floral Designers do?

Floral designers typically do the following:

  • Purchase flowers from wholesalers and suppliers 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 customers 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 customers 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. Floral designers 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 scheduleusually daily, weekly, or monthlyto 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 keep track of income, expenses, and taxes. Some hire and supervise staff to help with those tasks.

Careers for Floral Designers

  • Corsage makers
  • Floral arrangers
  • Floral artists
  • Floral decorators
  • Florist designers
  • Florists
  • Flower arrangers

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