Floral designers arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays.
What they do
Floral designers typically do the following:
- Buy flowers and other products from wholesalers and suppliers to ensure that an adequate supply meets customers’ needs
- Determine the type of arrangement desired, the occasion, and the date, time, and location for delivery
- Recommend plants or flowers and greenery for each arrangement in accordance with the customer’s 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 specific purpose or multiple displays for special occasions, such as weddings or funerals. They use artistry and their knowledge of different types of blooms to choose appropriate flowers or plants for each occasion. Floral designers need to know when flowers and plants are in season and available.
Floral designers also need to know the properties of flowers and other plants. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are 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 and average size of each flower and plant they sell. They may need to calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals cover a space, such as the length of a walkway for a wedding procession.
Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend plants or flowers, greenery, and designs to customers. If the customer selects flowers, the designer uses that type of flower to arrange a visually appealing display. The designer may include items, such as stuffed animals or balloons, or use a decorative basket or vase when creating an arrangement.
Floral designers in retail businesses serve walk-in customers as well as customers placing orders over the telephone, on the Internet, or through other florists. Some floral designers who work on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events, such as weddings, have to travel to event locations.
How to become a Floral Designer
Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job in a few months.
Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Postsecondary programs may be useful for florists who want to start their own business. Programs in floral design and caring techniques for flowers and plants are available through private floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. Most of these programs offer a certificate or diploma. Classes in flower and plant identification, floral design concepts, and advertising and other business courses, as well as experience working in a greenhouse, are part of many certificate and diploma programs. Some community colleges and universities offer certificates or associate’s degrees in floriculture/floristry operations and management.
New floral designers typically get hands-on experience working with an experienced floral designer. The American Institute of Floral Designers offers the Certified Floral Designer credential. Although certification is voluntary, it indicates a measure of floral design knowledge and expertise gained through work experience or education.
The median annual wage for floral designers was $28,040 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $41,400.
Employment of floral designers is projected to decline 20 percent from 2019 to 2029. Many floral designers are employed in the florist industry, in which overall industry employment is projected to decline over the decade.
Although demand will continue for floral arrangements at events such as weddings and funerals, the need for floral designers is projected to decline along with the number of florist shops in the industry. Local florist shops often fulfill online orders from flower delivery services. This practice may increase the number of orders florist shops receive, but it may also dampen the demand for additional shops as each existing shop widens its customer service area.
Similar Job Titles
Design Manager, Designer, Floral Artist, Floral Clerk, Floral Department Specialist, Floral Designer, Floral Manager, Florist, Flower Shop Laborer/Designer, Wedding Decorator, Floral Artist, Floral Decorator
Pharmacy Aides, First-Line Supervisor of Retail Sales Workers, Retail Salesperson, Hotel/Motel/Resort Desk Clerk, Postal Service Clerk
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Institute of Floral Designers - The mission of AIFD is to advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership, and to recognize the achievement of excellence in this art form.
- International Floral Designers Association - Floral Design Certification programs.
- Society of American Florists - The Society of American Florists is the association that connects and cultivates a thriving floral community.
Magazines and Publications
Flowers and floral arrangements are a beautiful way to mark any occasion, from a first date to a funeral, or even a parade float. Floral designers provide the creative force to turn petals and stems into a celebration. Also called florists, floral designers 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. Using their sense of artistry and specialized knowledge of flower properties and arrangements, florists choose the appropriate flowers for each occasion… and advise customers on how to properly care for them. Many floral designers work full time, although their hours may vary. A large number of florists are self-employed. Stand-alone shops operate during regular business hours but floral departments within grocery stores and shopping malls may stay open longer. Around holidays, florists are at their busiest. Because freshly cut flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be made in advance, so designers often work additional hours just before and during holidays. Floral designers generally have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their skills on the job. There are floral design programs at private floral schools, technical schools, and community colleges.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org