What Is a Floral Designer?

A floral designer arranges flowers in displays for a variety of special occasions, such as holidays, birthdays, and weddings. If you want to become a floral designer, there is no requirement for education beyond high school; however, some floral designers attend training programs or earn formal degrees in floral design, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Floral Design. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Floral designers, or florists, create arrangements of real, silk, or dried flowers. Their job responsibilities may include:

  • Choosing flowers and containers
  • Cutting flowers
  • Adding accessories, such as ribbons, candy, and toys

The arrangements created by floral designers range from corsages, boutonnieres, and bouquets to wreaths and centerpieces. These floral arrangements are designed for special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and funerals.

Floral designers must be creative, and they must be able to communicate well with the public. Many designers meet with their customers to discuss their needs and price constraints. Some floral designers are self-employed, working in a florist shop or out of their homes, while others work in the floral departments of retail businesses. Other designers work for online florist businesses.

Training and Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), most floral designers learn on the job; there is no requirement for formal education past high school. Many floral designers begin their careers by working as cashiers or delivery people in florist shops.

However, there are floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges that offer programs in floral design; these programs last from a few weeks to a year. Some designers earn formal degrees in horticulture or ornamental horticulture as well. Possible degrees include an Associate of Applied Science in Floral Design, a Bachelor of Science in Floriculture, and a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. Courses in floral design will teach you how to:

  • Identify different flowers and their characteristics
  • Arrange flowers
  • Tie ribbons and bows
  • Take care of flowers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, the number of working floral designers is expected to decrease 8% between 2012 and 2022, with much of the employment decline resulting from a drop in floral shop purchases. Floral designers are increasingly found in grocery stores and other retail shops. The median salary among these professionals was $24,220 as of 2013, reports the BLS.

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