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How Do I Become a Floral Designer?

All you need to become an entry-level floral designer is creativity, a high school diploma, and on-the-job training. Although a postsecondary education is not required, completing formal design training may increase your marketability to employers and provide you with the knowledge needed to manage or own a retail shop. Common educational opportunities include certificate and associate's degree programs in floral design.

Becoming a Floral Designer

To succeed as a floral designer, you must possess creativity, an eye for floral arranging, and customer service skills. This occupation does not adhere to strict prerequisite educational requirements.

Important Facts About Becoming a Floral Designer

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED
Common Courses Color and design theory, retail sales, horticulture, and flower identification.
Online Availability Floral design programs are available online through a variety of schools and organizations
Continuing Education Classes and workshops are available through the American Institute of Floral Designers
Median Salary (2018) $27,200*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% decline*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

Some floral designers have only a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training, while others complete postsecondary coursework in floral design through certificate or associate's degree programs at community colleges, private floral institutes, or vocational schools.

Certificates

Lasting anywhere from a couple of days to a full year, a certificate program in floral design helps you develop the basic design skills needed to create a variety of floral compositions. Certificate programs provide instruction on how to design arrangements for themed events, holidays, weddings, and solemn affairs. You will become familiar with how to work with and care for seasonal, exotic, silk, and dry flower materials. Some programs include instruction in basic business principles to prepare you for floral shop management. A certificate program can also prepare you for certification through the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).

Associate's Degree

An associate's degree program provides you with practical experiences in floral arranging through a variety of assignments. You will study how to care for both fresh cut flowers and potted plants. The associate's degree curriculum requires general education coursework and usually takes two years to complete. Upon graduation, you are prepared for entry-level opportunities, including those with growers, wholesale suppliers, retail flower shops, and event planning agencies.

Certification

Although the AIFD Certified Floral Designer (CFD) is voluntary, the credential may help you advance to upper-level positions within the industry. To become certified, you must complete AIFD-approved coursework, pass an online exam, and participate in an on-site design evaluation (www.aifd.org). The online exam tests your knowledge of design techniques, floral design terminology, shop management principles, and cut flower care. During your on-site evaluation, you will be asked to design and create floral arrangements in different categories, including wedding, sympathy, and wearable flowers. In order to maintain the certified floral designer credential, you will be expected to complete a minimum of 25 continuing education units every three years.