Becoming a Floral Designer: Job Description & Salary Info

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Get the truth about a floral designer's salary, training requirements and career prospects. Read the job description, and see the pros and cons of becoming a floral designer.
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Pros and Cons of Becoming a Floral Designer

Florists, also known as floral designers, make decorative arrangements out of flowers. You can learn additional pros and cons to becoming a floral designer by reading below.

PROS of Becoming a Floral Designer
High school diploma and on-the-job training is all that is usually necessary for employment*
Opportunity to be artistic and creative with flowers*
Employment is rising at grocery stores*
Full-time, part-time and seasonal career options are all available*

CONS of Becoming a Floral Designer
Career advancement is limited*
Overall employment was expected to decline 8% from 2012-2022*
Income is below the national average (roughly $26,000 or so on average)*
Longer work hours during holidays*
May need to work in refrigerated areas*

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

Career Information

Job Description

As a floral designer, you can work with a wholesaler to acquire enough flowers to meet the needs of your clients and customers. In some cases, you might grow the flowers at your shop. When customers come in, you'll greet them and make recommendations based on their preferences and the purpose of their purchase. You might also answer phone calls and messages to make sure arrangements are delivered on time and to the correct location. It is important to give instructions to the customer on how to best take care of the flowers you're selling. When you're not working with customers, you usually must design and create flower arrangements for different occasions and events.

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that floral designers earned roughly $12.75 an hour in May 2014, which resulted in an average annual income of about $26,000. The top 10% of workers earned about $37,000 or more each year. Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and California were the states that paid floral designers the highest average salaries.

Job Outlook

An 8% employment decline was expected for floral designers from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. This decrease in workers was a result of fewer customers purchasing floral arrangements. In fact, positions at floral shops were predicted to decrease 22% over the same decade. Many general stores like grocery marts sell loose flowers, which hurts sales at floral shops. Those looking for work in the floral department of a larger grocery store, however, may find increased job opportunities. Jobs with these employers were expected to grow 7% from 2012-2022.

Occupational Requirements

Education and Training

Hands-on experience is generally all that it takes to become a skilled floral designer. If you're new to the field, you'll typically work under someone experienced and start off with basic tasks. From there, you can move onto more advanced work until you have a firm grasp of both basic and complex floral designs. Some floral designers start off as delivery people or cashiers at a floral shop.

You may also complete a floriculture or floral design program at a community college or floral school to gain experience and learn about different varieties of plants. Most of these programs result in a diploma or a certificate. In some cases, you might be able to earn an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in floral design.

What Do Employers Want in Floral Designers?

Customer service is an important skill employers look for in floral designers, since interaction with customers is a daily activity. Additionally, creativity is appreciated, since appealing and unique designs can influence a customer's decision to purchase an arrangement. Organizational skills are also valued, since employers need floral designers who can operate efficiently and keep the floral shop clean. These job postings from November 2012 can show you what real employers looked for.

  • A business in Pennsylvania needed a floral designer with at least 3 years of experience for holiday or part-time employment.
  • Customer service experience and knowledge of silk and fresh design was necessary for a floral design job in Virginia.
  • A New Jersey company preferred floral designers who have graduated from a floral design school, have 3 years of experience and understand point of sale (POS) systems.
  • A Texas business seeked a floral designer with great communication skills and an understanding of colors and textures in the floral design field.

How You Can Stand Out as a Floral Designer

Taking the time to earn professional certification can help set yourself apart from other floral designers. Organizations like the American Institute of Floral Designers offer voluntary certifications and memberships to qualified floral designers. Becoming a member can give you access to online courses and other enrichment opportunities. If you're seeking to become a manager or open up your own shop, business and management classes might be helpful. This extra knowledge could lead to advancement opportunities that other floral designers might not get due to their lack of business acumen.

Other Vocational Options

If you're interested in planning and organizing events instead of arranging flowers, you might want to look into becoming a meeting, convention and event planner. In this occupation, you'll meet with clients and discuss their expectations of the event they want to hold. You'll then plan the event within your client's budget and make all the necessary arrangements for decorations, staffing and dining. In May 2011, the BLS reported that meeting, convention and event planners earned about $50,000 on average annually. From 2010-2020, a 44% growth in employment for event planners was expected nationwide.

Instead of designing flower arrangements, you may consider looking into designing interiors for a living. As an interior designer, you'll ensure that the interior space of a building is safe and functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing. Interior designers often pick which materials and furnishings to use and must draw up a design plan before beginning a project. The BLS predicted a 19% employment growth for interior designers from 2010-2020. Interior designers earned around $53,000 per year on average as of May 2011.

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