Job Description: Floral designers or florists cut live, dried, or silk flowers and other greenery and arrange them into displays of various sizes and shapes. They design these displays by selecting flowers, containers, and ribbons and arranging them into bouquets, corsages, table centerpieces and wreaths for weddings, funerals, holidays, and other special occasions.
Training and Educational Qualifications: Floral design is the only design occupation that does not require formal postsecondary training; most floral designers learn their skills on the job. Employers generally look for high school graduates who have creativity, a flair for arranging flowers, and a desire to learn. Many florists gain their initial experience working as cashiers or delivery personnel in retail floral stores. The completion of formal design training, however, is an asset for floral designers, particularly those interested in either advancing to chief floral designer or opening their own businesses.
Job Outlook: Despite the projected decline in employment, job opportunities are expected to be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. Job opportunities should be good because of the relatively high replacement needs in retail florists that result from comparatively low starting pay and limited opportunities for advancement. The demand for floral designers will continue to grow as flower sales increase as a result of the increasing population and lavishness of weddings and other special events that require floral decorations.
Salary: Median annual earnings for wage and salary floral designers are $21,700. The middle 50 percent earn between $17,690 and $27,330. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $15,040, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $33,650. Median annual earnings differ slightly between grocery store and florist shop employees with a figure of $23,990 for grocery stores and $21,210 for florist shops.
• Floral design is the only design specialty that does not require formal postsecondary training.
• Many floral designers work long hours on weekends and holidays, filling orders and setting up decorations for weddings and other events.
• About one third of floral designers are self employed.
Delivery driver, part time designer, designer, wedding coordinator, retail floral shop manager, director of retail operations, event planner and manager, and now owner and CEO of my company
Do you know of which companies have the best internships in this field that are known to help launch a successful career?
There are quite a few large retail floral operations throughout the United States, many in suburban areas as well as large cities. Some offer different programs and learning curves dependent on skill level.
Where are the best cities to live to find jobs like yours?
Cities that are usually very diversified with lots of arts and cultural centers, while attracting influential consumers who thrive on trends as well as tradition. Examples include Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Topeka, Atlanta, Denver, Santa Fe, and Portland.
What is your typical day like?
Appointments with clients, site inspections and diagrams with clients, procuring products from wholesale floral suppliers and other vendors that are needed for a particular event, coordination with other services for events, staffing and scheduling for events and functions.
What are your job responsibilities?
All aspects ranging from client meetings and consultations, designs, planning, personnel, financial and execution of function an owner should know how to do it all well.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Bringing to life a creative thought and vision after collaborating with the client.
What do you dislike about your job?
Dealing with taxes.
Have you had any turning-point or “light bulb” moments in your career that have helped you get to where you are today?
I love giving educational seminars about different aspects of the floral industry and sensing the need that the audience (or students) has for learning more about this wonderful business. The passion I have for
what I do is very relevant when I know I am getting their attention and they want to hear more. Empowerment!!
How did you get into this industry?
I needed a part-time job in college, so driving for a florist was an easy start. And then I wanted to give more: to offer assistance to those (consumers) who wanted something a little special and unique, from a small floral design for a special birthday to creating an event which would make people say, “Wow!!!” “Amazing!!!” I learned that it also meant sharing these talents with others who would like to pursue this career. I love teaching.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
Becoming an accredited member of The American Institute of Floral Designers and becoming the President of the Association (which will be 2007-2008).
To what professional associations do you belong and what professional publications do you read?
I belong to American Institute of Floral Designers, California State Floral Association, Society of American Florists, and Teleflora Educational Specialists. I read Florists’ Review.
What advice do you have for others who would like to pursue this career?
Focus, be determined, read all type of articles relating to the field, work part-time, volunteer to work at retail or event companies, and stay current with all types of technology.