Discover Classes in Floral Design

Bouquets, seasonal arrangements, and more. 

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful floral arrangement. Whether you find yourself among the flowers at a wedding or dinner party or even in the comfort of your own kitchen, those blooms are bound to bring a smile to your face. It’s actually science! Studies show that fresh flowers and other bits of nature can, in fact, improve your mood, boost productivity, and generally benefit your mental health. Oh, and they also make for a great photo op!

As a professional florist (sometimes known as a floral designer), you have the opportunity to assemble the bouquets and arrangements that spread that kind of joy. And since florals play an important role in many major celebrations—such as weddings, birthday parties, showers, and more—florists also get to be front and center for their clients’ meaningful moments. 

Whether you have tons of experience with flowers or none at all, you might have a future as a florist, especially if you have an artistic eye, an interest in event planning, and a general passion for natural beauty. Want to know how to become a florist and build a career in this space? Curious about how to become a floral designer? Read on! 

What Is a Florist? What Is a Floral Designer?

floral arrangements
Floral professionals spend their time among the flowers. 

First off, let’s cover the basics. What exactly is a florist? Broadly speaking, a florist is a professional who takes care of flowers and other plants and arranges them into something that looks pleasing to the eye. 

Florists might choose to pursue the next level of their craft by becoming floral designers. The two professions are quite similar, but floral design typically connotes work that’s a bit more technical and involved. Floral designers are best known for assembling arrangements and floral compositions for weddings and other events. As the phrase “floral designer” implies, the craft requires more design work. Floristry can be less demanding, since florists are often more focused on the basic care for and arrangement of cut flowers. 

There’s a lot of overlap between these two titles, and the distinction can be irrelevant in many cases. When in doubt, remember this: All floral designers are florists, but some florists might not consider themselves floral designers. 

What Does a Florist Do? 

floral arrangement
Arranging flowers is one of the many tasks expected of a florist.

Like many creatives, florists and floral designers will rarely experience the same daily routine more than once. Every day will probably be a little different! Still, there are a few tasks that will come up regularly for professionals in the field. It’s useful to understand those tasks if you want to know how to be a floral designer. 

What does a floral designer do? Here are some of the items that you might expect to see in a florist job description or in a floral designer job description: 

  • Stay on top of trends in floral design. The best florists and floral designers are masters of what’s hot in the industry. Florists who specialize in weddings, for example, must keep themselves informed about the coolest looks in weddings at any given time. They also need to be in command of the flowers and plants that are in season throughout the year. Aspiring florists and floral designers can do this by researching online or in industry publications. 
  • Order and take care of flowers and plants. Florists who work in flower shops will be responsible for sourcing plants—and then for caring for them. After all, you can’t arrange flowers if your flowers aren’t looking fresh and lively! 
  • Source vases and other items. Floral designers need something to put their flowers and bouquets in. Selecting and purchasing vases, jars, pots, and other similar vessels is up to the florist or designer. 
  • Work with clients on design projects. In order to be an effective floral designer, you’ll need to meet face-to-face with clients to get a clear picture of what they’re looking for in the arrangements for their weddings, parties, and other events. For larger, more expensive events, a client might expect multiple meetings. This is where it’s key to be a people person and a good listener. 
  • Produce arrangements! Whether you’re producing simple bouquets in a flower shop or assembling grander pieces for events, you eventually have to get your hands dirty and make the arrangements themselves. 
  • Deliver finished pieces to events. Floral designers who make pieces for parties and other gatherings are often responsible for bringing their arrangements to the event site. It’s up to them to ensure that the flowers and other plants are looking their best and meeting client expectations. Here, it’s important for florists to be able to work well with other event vendors so that everything runs smoothly. 

Think you can handle these tasks? Great!  

Learn the Basics of Flower Arranging

Design a Professional Floral Arrangement at Home — Beginner Friendly 

How to Become a Florist

floral arrangements
Aspiring florists can develop their skills through education and work experience. 

The path to becoming a florist isn’t necessarily a straight line. If you’re interested in this kind of role, you might find yourself getting there in multiple ways. Want to learn the ropes? Here’s how you might get started:

Floral Design Certificate 

Depending on where you decide to look for a job as a florist or floral designer, you might not need a formal floral design degree, but it never hurts to have one if you can make it work with your time and budget. Floral design certificates are available at many colleges and technical schools. Research what’s available locally. You might even be able to pursue a certificate like this with an online program. 

Business Classes

Since many floral designers and florists will find themselves working in flower shops eventually, you might also consider taking the time to learn the ins and outs of opening your own flower shop so you can be your own boss. Seek out those classes at a local college or community center or online. Here are a few courses that might be useful:

Work Experience 

Classes are great, but for getting florist jobs, on-the-job experience is invaluable. Aspiring florists should seek out job opportunities working with and for people already in the industry. Network with florists in your community and see how you might be able to support them as a beginner. Working in a flower shop or alongside floral designers preparing for large events will give you confidence for the future. 

How Much Does a Florist Make? 

So how much does a floral designer make? A florist salary or floral designer salary will fluctuate based on the location and the specifics of the job, but according to Indeed, the average American florist in 2021 earned approximately $30,000 for the year. This equates to about $13 per hour. 

That said, the number can definitely grow from there, especially if you work on high-end projects or in larger markets. In California, for example, the majority of florists make between $47,975 to $71,421 annually, according to Salary.com.

Jobs for Florists

bouquets
Source: unsplash
Florists who work in florist shops or as wedding floral designers might be called upon to create bouquets like this. 

People trained in and passionate about the floral design field can find rewarding work in a variety of settings. Check out these florist and floral designer jobs: 

Florist Shops

You can find a florist shop in almost any community. Who runs and staffs those businesses? Florists and floral designers, of course! Florists at florist shops might create everything from small arrangements for clients to use at home to extravagant wedding centerpieces. Working in this environment is a great way to get your feet wet in the industry and learn about the big picture of floral design. 

Wedding Floral Design 

Some floral designers focus solely on wedding arrangements. It’s certainly a booming business! If this is your passion, you can go work for one of those designers or start your own company. 

Freelance Floral Designer 

If you’re just getting started in floral design and want to have control over which events you provide arrangements for, freelancing might be your best bet. Working as a freelance florist will allow you to build a business slowly and figure out the types of projects you’d most like to work on 

Let Your Floral Career Bloom 

Is your passion for floral design budding? With this basic information about how to be a florist at your fingertips, you’re ready to pursue a career as a florist or floral designer. You’ll get to create beautiful arrangements every day—not to mention be there for your clients’ most important moments. 

Take a Modern Approach

Modern Flowers: Arranging a Stunning Centerpiece