Flowers can be beautiful and enchanting to gaze at because of their color and design. However, the beauty of flowers may fail to be visible when they are not arranged to maximize their potential. Floral designers or florists are trained to make the most out of flowers. Before you can become a floral designer, you need to know what the job entails.
What Does a Floral Designer Do?
Florists have a vast range of roles they perform to provide their customers with the best service. When you become a floral designer, your responsibilities will be:
- Growing flowers in their farms or ordering them from suppliers to ensure customers are supplied adequately
- Cutting flowers to the ideal size
- Arranging flowers according to the customer’s preference and occasions, such as funerals, weddings and banquets
- Advising clients regarding the floral arrangement best suited for their occasion, location and budget
- Taking orders and wrapping flower arrangements for delivery to customers
- Instructing people on the ideal temperature, change of water and other ways to care for flowers and keep them fresh
- Mixing flower food solutions and filling them in floral containers and sanitizing workspaces
- Replacing old flowers with fresh ones on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on the arrangement made with business establishments or private homes
- Working with event planners, interior designers and other professionals in creative displays
- Performing managerial tasks, such as hiring and supervising staff if you own a flower shop
If you intend to open a floral store, you could seek a post-secondary program in floral design and caring techniques to gain a competitive advantage. Most institutions that teach these techniques offer a certificate or diploma where they teach subjects such as:
- Flower and plant identification
- Floral design concepts
- Business courses
Many of the institutions also help you find a placement in a greenhouse to give you the much-needed experience. Some universities and community colleges offer a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in floral design if you want to be a supervisor, chief floral designer or store owner.
A certificate is not compulsory to become a florist. However, it can help to increase customers’ trust in your achievements and expertise. A Certified Floral Designer certification from the American Institute of Floral Designers, for example can enable you to show proficiency in floral design gained through education or work experience.
Being a floral designer has various challenges that you can easily overcome if you have the following additional qualities:
- Good artistic ability: You must use your sense of style to develop designs that are pleasant to view
- Creativity: Your ideas must adapt to the rapidly changing trends in floral design
- Pleasant personality: You will spend time interacting with customers and suppliers. You should be able to understand your customers’ needs and be patient and willing to explain options to your customers
- Organizational skills: You must be well-organized, to ensure that you complete orders promptly
Your salary will mostly depend on the industry in which you work. The median average wage in the top-five industries where you may work are:
Lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores
Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods
Source: US Bureau of Labor statistics
Most floral designers usually have a busy schedule although working hours may vary according to the location of your shop. Your shop may open longer hours in suburban locations. You will also be busier during certain times, such as holidays compared to ordinary days. You can work in a retail business, florist shop or grocery store. Customers can place orders online, by telephone, or face-to-face. You may travel to create displays in the locations where events are held. You may need to invest in warm clothing because rooms where flowers are stored tend to have low temperatures to keep flowers fresh.
The career prospects for florists are promising. The need for floral designers is projected to increase, particularly for those working in general merchandise shops and grocery stores. This growth will come about because people are opting to buy loose cut fresh flowers from such outlets. This situation will cause an increase of 7 percent in employment opportunities for floral designers in general merchandise shops and grocery stores.
If you feel you have what it takes to be a floral designer, now is the best time to see if it is the right career for you.