Floral Design Education Requirements and Career Information

Floral designers require no formal education. Learn about career information, voluntary certification and employment outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Floral designers work with flowers and plants to create floral displays, such as wedding bouquets, prom corsages and Christmas wreaths. They often find employment at florist shops or in the floral departments at grocery stores.

On-the-job training is common, but many aspiring floral designers still opt to enroll in a certificate program in floral design at a community college or vocational school. A few schools offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Some floral designers prove their skills by earning professional certification, which requires written and practical exams.

Required EducationOn-the-job training is standard, but certificate programs in floral design are also common
Projected Job Outlook (2012-2022)* 8% decline
Median Salary (2013)* $24,220

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Education Requirements

Floral designers usually start their careers straight out of high school, often as entry-level designers at retail floral shops. Experience is gained on the job. Postsecondary training, while not necessary, is available from some community colleges and trade schools.

Certificate programs in floral design are the most common offerings, but some colleges and universities offer associate and bachelor's degree programs in floral design. Degrees in floriculture, horticulture and ornamental horticulture provide additional educational options for floral designers. Typical courses in these degree programs include botany, soil management, hydrology, chemistry, marketing and business management.

Certification

Though not a requirement for employment, certification is offered by the American Institute of Floral Designers. Certification requirements include passing a written exam and a 4-hour hands-on exam. During the hands-on portion, test-takers must design various floral arrangements, including arrangements for funerals and weddings. Certification demonstrates to potential employers that applicants are familiar with floral terminology and able to design different types of flower arrangements.

Career Information

Floral designers, also called florists, create floral arrangements for a number of occasions, including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals and holidays. They work with all types of plants, including live and artificial flowers, and use accessories like bows and ribbons. Floral designers create wreaths, bouquets, table centerpieces, corsages and other displays. They must be creative and possess strong customer service and problem-solving skills. Floral designers also must be able to work independently and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Employment Info

Most floral designers work in small specialty floral shops, but employment in those is expected to decline over the next few years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Others work in grocery stores, where the BLS said employment should rise, or for online floral shops and wholesale flower distributors. Some floral designers are self-employed.

Floral designers are sometimes required to work overtime, especially during the holidays or when working on large orders for weddings and other large events. Making delivery trips, obtaining supplies and setting up arrangements at events are additional tasks that floral designers must take on.

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