Florist: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for florists. Get the facts about related education, salary, job outlook and job duties to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Floral Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Florist?

The professional responsibilities of a florist include creating special floral arrangements and providing customer service. Florists are commonly hired for various ceremonial events and recommend and design bouquets in accordance with the occasion. They cut, dry, arrange, nurse and decorate flowers and other plants. Flowers may be ordered or grown by florists.

Read the table below for important details about becoming a florist.

Degree Required None required; certificate and associate's degree programs available
Education Field of Study Floral design, horticulture
Key Responsibilities Design and create floral arrangement and bouquets
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)* -3% for all floral designers
Average Annual Salary (2015)* $27,010 for all floral designers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does A Florist Do?

Florists, or floral designers, are responsible for arranging flowers and plants into visually pleasing arrangements. They may create flower arrangements for various occasions, such as funerals, weddings and birthdays, or to convey congratulatory, festive, romantic or other sentiments.

As a floral designer, one of your job duties is be to coordinate the appearance of a floral display to the occasion for which it's being created. You may design specifically requested arrangements or prepare general bouquets; you'll also recommend or sell occasion-appropriate displays to customers. For custom arrangements, you'll often advise or collaborate with customers regarding the colors, flower types and accessories that best fit their needs.

Where Would I Work?

Exact job duties for floral designers may vary somewhat based on employer type. Floral designers often work in retail; some work in flower shops or multi-purpose retail establishments like supermarkets. Internet and wholesale flower companies also employ floral designers. Some may work on a freelance basis, offering floral design and arrangement services to individual clients or companies that might need decorating help, like hotels or interior designers.

What Kind of Training Can I Get?

Formal training is not generally required for florists. Many employers offer training to newly-hired floral designers, although many do seek floral designers who are able to create stylish arrangements. If you're interested in floral design training, however, you can earn a certificate - or, in some cases, an associate's degree - in floral design, horticulture or a related area.

In a certificate or associate's degree program, you'll study different types of plants and flowers. You'll also learn about plant upkeep and the environmental conditions required for their survival. Additional topics might include greenhouse and floral shop management, marketing, accounting and entrepreneurship skills.

The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) sponsors workshops and conferences and provides continuing education courses. AIFD also offers a Certified Floral Designer credential, which requires passing a series of five online Professional Floral Design Evaluation courses (www.aifd.org).

How Much Can I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that floral designers made an average annual salary of $27,010 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS indicated that job openings for florists were expected to decline by three percent between 2014 and 2024, as people purchase fewer styled floral designs in lieu of fresh cut flowers from grocers and other retailers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Craft and fine artists are other professionals who create hand-made designs. Craft artists make pottery, glassware and other objects of functional purposes and don't require formal education. Fine artists make things for aesthetic purposes, such as paintings and sculptures and typically pursue postsecondary education. With a bachelor's degree, one may look into fashion design. These professionals create and model clothing and accessories.

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