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How to Become a Florist [The Ultimate Guide]

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Are you looking to turn your passion for flowers into a profitable career path?

This detailed guide will provide everything you need to know about how to become a florist.

From building a portfolio, getting certified, and networking with experienced professionals to becoming a successful florist, you can turn your passion into your dream job.

An Overview of Becoming a Florist: A Primer

Florists are creative people. They use this ability to create floral arrangements for weddings, birthdays, funerals, and other events.

They may work in flower shops, grocery stores, event planning firms, or garden centers, or even own a floral design business.

Besides having creative skills, florists work with people to figure out their preferences, ensuring that the flower arrangements meet their demands.

Also, they have excellent knowledge of fresh flowers, when they bloom, and how to keep them to extend their lifespan.

Florist jobs may include coordinating the delivery of flowers, handling inventory and invoicing, and working with wholesalers.

Florists should possess communication skills and the ability to manage deadlines, especially during special holidays like Valentine’s Day when the demand for flowers is high.

Related: How to Become an Interior Designer

How Much Do Florists Make?

According to Indeed, florists make $16.04 per hour on average in the United States.

But the amount depends on the florist’s location, their employer, and the volume of clients they work with.

Other factors like formal education and hands-on experience may determine how much a florist makes.

A self-employed florist may earn more since they set their rates and determine how many clients they work with.

They also have more earning potential as they can offer additional services like event planning and home decor services.

What You’ll Need to Become a Florist [& Associated Costs]

The career path to becoming a florist is quite tasking but achievable. People who make a successful career out of it already possess the basic skills even without seeking formal training.

Below are the major things needed to become a florist:

1. Floral design toolkit

This consists of flowers, vases, knives, shears, thorn strippers, floral cages, floral tape, and florist wire. When sold individually, these tools cost between $5 to $30, but the complete toolkit could go for about $100 to $200.

2. The required skills

Besides having a creative eye, florists should possess business knowledge, communication skills, photography, and social media marketing. These skills don’t cost anything.

However, skills like photography and digital marketing can be learned online in paid classes or free on YouTube.

3. A professional portfolio

Whether it’s a centerpiece, bouquet, home decor piece, corsage, or wedding design, a florist should be able to show off various floral designs in a portfolio.

Creating a physical portfolio requires the services of a photographer, which could cost between $75 to $350 per image. But there are free online portfolio builders like Google Sites and Weebly to save costs.

4. Formal education requirements

Although becoming a florist doesn’t require formal education, employers may prefer people with a minimum of a high school diploma. Obtaining a diploma may cost between $1,500 to $20,000. It covers the class materials, course units, and other academic expenses.

5. Floral design certification courses

It would be more beneficial for a florist to undergo professional certification courses to become a certified floral designer. Community colleges, vocational schools, and private floral design schools train and certify floral designers.

Floral design courses may cost between $0 to $10,000. Some online platforms like Alison offer free courses and even issue certificates.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Florist?

Becoming a florist ranges between $0 to $20,000, with obtaining a high school diploma being the most expensive.

If a florist already possesses a diploma or some form of post-secondary education, the cost reduces drastically.

And the cost of becoming a certified floral designer also depends on whether the florist chooses a free certification course or one from a renowned professional organization.

It’s important to note that starting a freelance or small business as a florist calls for other investments like a business license and permit, insurance, delivery vehicle, storage space, and marketing materials.

These items could cost between $8,000 to $10,000.

Is it Hard to Become a Florist?

Becoming a florist is challenging, just like other careers.

Since it deals with creativity, the floral industry is ever-changing; new trends pop up from time to time, and customers expect florists to keep up.

This means that florists need to read blogs and magazines to follow the latest trends and determine which floral designs are in vogue.

And they should also expect periods when flower orders pour in non-stop.

But their ability to manage time will enable them to deliver within the specified timeframe.

We won’t fail to mention that florists can meet challenging customers; those who change their choice of flowers at the last minute or suddenly become unimpressed with the floral design.

The ability of a florist to stay calm and respond politely in such situations is golden. It puts the floral business in a positive light at the end of the day.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Florist?

Traditionally, a diploma is earned after four years of high school education. But adult learners can attend an online school and attain their diploma within 6 months.

Floral design programs may take between 4 to 12 months to complete, depending on the course content and whether internships are involved.

How to Become a Florist in 5 Simple Steps

If becoming a florist sounds appealing, here are 5 simple steps to follow:

Step 1: Acquire Design Skills and Certification

A floral career begins with attending flower classes or enrolling in floral design programs to learn about cut flowers, artificial flowers, floral arrangements, and how to run a successful floral design business.

Some universities and community colleges offer an opportunity for florists to grow and nurture flowers in a greenhouse. They may also offer business and economics classes and issue an associate degree or a certificate.

Florists can also gain a certified floral designer credential from the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).

Becoming a certified florist is evidence that floral design expertise was gained through education or hands-on experience.

Step 2: Get Hands-on Training

One of the ways to determine whether the floral industry is a good fit is to get on-the-job training from an experienced floral designer.

This could be in the form of an apprenticeship, internship, or voluntary work in a local florist shop.

It exposes the day-to-day operations in a flower shop, including the not-so-beautiful parts such as hauling boxes, sweeping the floor, and washing buckets.

Step 3: Create a Unique Style

After acquiring hands-on training, the next step is to practice foundational techniques to come up with a unique style.

With more practice comes perfection and a truckload of pictures to add to the design portfolio.

And the styles created will also determine the target market. For instance, minimalist wedding flower designs will attract minimalist brides.

Step 4: Join a Professional Organization

Becoming a member of a professional body offers an opportunity to network with experienced professionals and access exclusive learning resources.

The AIFD has an online library containing helpful video tutorials and articles. Members of the organization receive discounts on selected floral design courses.

Step 5: Apply for Florist Jobs

After acquiring training in a vocational school, community college, or online class, the certification and skills would come in handy when applying for jobs.

It would be helpful to check in with local florists as they might need a helping hand.

Note that during a florist interview, a person should highlight their experiences, skills, and strengths that match the job description. It demonstrates their suitability for the position.

The floral industry is booming, and it would be great to consider starting a floral shop if jobs are insufficient in a location or when a person has become an experienced florist.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Florist

There are several reasons for considering this career path, such as:

  • Diverse career paths: The floral industry provides pathways for people to work in events planning, retail flower shop, or even start a floral business. This versatility allows people to explore different options before settling for a suitable niche.
  • Flexibility: Being a florist offers the opportunity to set suitable work hours, allowing for a better work-life balance. An individual can also pursue other interests while working as a florist.
  • Encourages creativity: Flowers come in different colors and shapes, which a florist can mix and match to create unique arrangements. It offers an avenue to bring imagination to reality.
  • A step closer to nature: Working in a floral shop surrounds a person with captivating scents, vibrant colors, and delicate textures. It brings the beauty of nature closer and an enchantment into the world of blossoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Florists Make Money?

Florists make money by teaching design skills in colleges or to DIY brides. They also sell floral tools and products in a physical or online store.

Some of them blog about their floral design journey and offer tips to rookie floral designers and flower enthusiasts. And they can even write and self-publish an e-book.

How Can I Be a Successful Florist?

To be a successful florist, you should stay organized, meet the needs of customers, and never run out of creative ideas.
You should also brainstorm marketing strategies that’ll increase revenues, especially during seasons when business may be slow.

Can You Self Teach Floristry?

Every successful florist is self-taught. In the process of developing designs, they take what they’ve learned from mentors, practice, adapt, and make changes until they come up with a unique floral design.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Here are similar careers to explore:

Wrapping Up

Being a florist is a combination of artistic expression, emotional connections, the beauty of nature, and an array of career paths.

Although it’s a challenging profession, it can bring fulfillment and financial rewards.

Did you enjoy this guide? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to share the article with your friends.

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