What They Do: Floral designers arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays.
Work Environment: Most floral designers work in retail businesses, usually flower shops and grocery stores.
How to Become One: Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job in a few months.
Salary: The median annual wage for floral designers is $28,040.
Job Outlook: Employment of floral designers is projected to decline 14 percent over the next ten years. Many floral designers are employed in the florist industry, in which overall industry employment is projected to decline.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of floral designers with similar occupations.
Floral designers, also called florists, cut and arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers, containers, ribbons, and other accessories.
Floral designers typically do the following:
Floral designers may create a single arrangement for a special occasion or design floral displays for rooms and open spaces for large-scale functions, such as weddings, funerals, or banquets. They use their sense of artistry and their knowledge of different types of flowers to choose the appropriate flowers for each occasion. Floral designers may also create single arrangements to serve a customer's emotional needs, helping the customers to relax. Floral designers need to know what flowers are in season and when they will be available.
Floral designers also need to know the properties of each flower. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are more delicate and wilt more quickly. Some plants are poisonous to certain types of animals. For example, lilies are toxic to cats.
Floral designers must know the color varieties of each flower and the average size of each type of flower. They may calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals are needed to cover a carpet.
Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend flowers and designs to customers. After the customer selects the flowers, the designer arranges them in a visually appealing display. The designer may include items such as stuffed animals or balloons, or may use decorative vases, when designing a floral arrangement.
Although more complex displays must be ordered in advance, designers often will create small bouquets or arrangements while customers wait. When they are responsible for floral arrangements for a special occasion, such as a wedding or banquet, floral designers usually set up the floral decorations just before the event, then tear them down afterwards. Some designers work with event planners on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events such as weddings.
Floral designers also give customers instructions on how to care for flowers, including what the ideal temperature is and how often the water should be changed. For cut flowers, floral designers often will provide flower food to the customer.
Floral designers also order new flowers from suppliers. They process newly arrived flowers by stripping leaves that would be below the water line. Floral designers cut new flowers, mix flower food solutions, fill floral containers with the food solutions, and sanitize workspaces. They keep most flowers in cool display cases so that the flowers stay fresh and live longer.
Some designers have long-term agreements with hotels and restaurants or the owners of office buildings and private homes to replace old flowers with new flower arrangements on a recurring schedule—usually daily, weekly, or monthly—to keep areas looking fresh and appealing. Some work with interior designers in creating displays.
Floral designers who are self-employed or have their own shop also must do business tasks. They keep track of income, expenses, and taxes. Some hire and supervise staff to help with those tasks.
Floral designers hold about 55,500 jobs. The largest employers of floral designers are as follows:
|Food and beverage stores||11%|
Floral designers in retail businesses serve walk-in customers as well as customers placing orders over the telephone, on the Internet, or through other florists. Some floral designers who work on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events, such as weddings, have to travel to event locations.
Many floral designers work full time, although their hours may vary with the work setting.
Independent shops are typically open during business hours. Floral departments inside grocery stores or other stores in may stay open longer.
Floral designers are busier at certain times of the year, such as holidays, than at other times. Because freshly cut flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be completed too far in advance. Therefore, designers often work additional hours just before and during holidays. In addition, many part-time and seasonal opportunities are available around certain holidays, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
Get the education you need: Find schools for Floral Designers near you!
Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job over the course of a few months.
Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent. There are postsecondary programs that are useful for florists who want to start their own businesses. Programs in floral design and caring techniques for flowers are available through private floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. Most offer a certificate or diploma. Classes in flower and plant identification, floral design concepts, and advertising, as well as other business courses, plus experience working in a greenhouse are part of many certificate and diploma programs. Some community colleges and universities offer certificates or associate's degrees in floriculture/floristry operations and management.
New floral designers typically get hands-on experience working with an experienced floral designer. They may start by preparing simple flower arrangements and practicing the basics of tying bows and ribbons, cutting stems to appropriate lengths, and learning about the proper handling and care of flowers. Floral designers also learn about the different types of flowers, their growth properties, and how to use them in more complex floral designs.
The American Institute of Floral Designers offers the Certified Floral Designer credential. Although certification in floral design is voluntary, it indicates a measure of achievement and expertise. To become certified, a floral designer must demonstrate a grasp of floral design knowledge gained through work experience or education.
Taking formal floral design training can help people who are interested in opening their own business or in becoming a chief floral designer or supervisor.
Artistic ability. Floral designers use their sense of style to develop aesthetically pleasing designs.
Creativity. Floral designers must develop appropriate designs for different occasions. They also must be open to new ideas because trends in floral design change quickly.
Customer-service skills. Floral designers spend a substantial part of their day interacting with customers and suppliers. They must be able to understand what a customer is looking for, explain options, and provide high-quality flowers and service.
Organizational skills. Floral designers need to be well organized, to keep the business operating smoothly and to ensure that orders are completed on time.
The median annual wage for floral designers is $28,040. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $41,400.
The median annual wages for floral designers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Food and beverage stores||$29,670|
Many floral designers work full time, although their hours may vary with the work setting.
Independent floral shops are typically open during business hours. Floral departments inside grocery stores or other stores may keep longer hours.
Floral designers are busier at certain times of the year, such as holidays, than at other times. Because freshly cut flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be completed too far in advance. Therefore, designers often work additional hours just before and during holidays. In addition, many part-time and seasonal opportunities are available around holidays for which flowers or plants are popular gifts, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
Employment of floral designers is projected to decline 14 percent over the next ten years. Many floral designers are employed in the florist industry, in which overall industry employment is projected to decline over the decade.
Although demand will continue for floral arrangements at events such as weddings and funerals, the need for floral designers is projected to decline along with the number of florist shops in the industry. Local florist shops often fulfill online orders from flower delivery services. This practice may increase the number of orders florist shops receive, but it may also dampen the demand for additional shops as each existing shop widens its customer service area.
In addition, grocery stores offer floral decorations, cut flowers, and plants. Customers may find it more convenient to buy flowers or plants at these stores than to travel to florist shops. As a result, employment of floral designers is projected to grow in grocery stores and decline in florist shops.
Those with formal education in floral design will have better prospects.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2018||Projected Employment, 2028||Change, 2018-28|
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.