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Floriculture Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Floriculture is the study of growing flowering plants. Continue reading for an overview of the training, as well as career and salary info for some career options for floriculture professionals.

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Professionals in the floral industry can get a start in their work as soon as they complete high school. Floral designers, production managers, and sales representatives all work for florists, garden centers and nurseries in the design, production, and sales of flowers.

Essential Information

Although a high-school diploma is generally required for a career path in floriculture, some professionals may seek to complete a certification program. Professionals in floriculture can find work in a variety of fields. Those trained in plant breeding and cultivation work with flowers to use as ornaments, decorations or arrangements in greenhouses or other areas.

Career Floral Designer Floral Production Manager Floral Sales Representative
Education Requirements High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma
Other Requirements Optional Certified Floral Designer Certificate
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) -3%* -2% or lower** 7%*
Median Salary (2015) $25,010* $64,170** $55,730*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **ONet Online

Career Options

Career paths in the field of floriculture range from greenhouse or garden center members to sales professionals. Below are three job descriptions in the industry.

Floral Designers

Floral designers, also known as florists, use flowers, leaves and petals to create arrangements for occasions like weddings, holidays and funerals. They may work for boutique floral shops or large wholesale distributors. Others may create and deliver custom orders for grocery stores and Internet sites.

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), floral designers could see a three percent decline in employment during 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). A decrease in the purchase of floral arrangements and related items is believed to play a major part in this projected decline. In May 2015, the BLS stated that floral designers earned an average annual hourly wage of $12.98, or $27,010 annually.

Floral Production Managers

Floral production managers, sometimes known as nursery managers, plan and coordinate flower and plant production in a nursery, greenhouse or garden center. These professionals use their knowledge in floriculture and horticulture to determine which plants would grow best in a given environment. Additional duties typically include reviewing inventories, sales and managing floral staff.

O*Net OnLine indicates that employment for nursery managers could also decline in the 2014-2024 decade. The median hourly wage for nursery managers was $30.85 in 2015, or $64,170 a year, O*Net reports.

Floral Sales Representatives

Floral sales representatives call on customer accounts, such as floral shops or garden centers, in order to sell flowers, arrangements and other products. Sales representatives are responsible for keeping abreast of trends and products in floriculture and generating new customers. Representatives may be called upon to travel to customer shops to introduce new floral products and boost business.

The BLS indicates that employment for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives is expected to rise 7% from 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, these workers earned an average hourly salary of $32.11, or $66,790 per year, according to the BLS.

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Requirements for Floriculture Jobs

Most entry-level positions in floriculture, such as a garden center crew worker or landscape technician, require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some employers may prefer job applicants who have one or more years of work experience within a greenhouse or cultivating plants. Once hired, these employees typically receive on-the-job training in arranging flowers, growing plants and interacting with customers.

Depending on the employer and scope of work, managers may need five years of experience. They should know how to design flowers for a variety of occasions and have strong customer service skills. They may begin their career with a high school diploma before working up to a supervisory role.

Postsecondary Education

Floral designers may increase job opportunities by completing a certificate program in floriculture. Offered by junior colleges and vocational schools, certificate programs typically last 6-12 months and combine floral design courses with aspects of horticulture. Students explore wedding floral arrangements and interior decorations, as well as shop management and marketing skills.

Certification

Although not required for employment, floral designers may consider certification by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in order to increase job opportunities (www.aifd.org). Eligibility is based on the completion of approved education and work experience requirements. Candidates must then complete an application, pay the enrollment fee and sign up for a professional floral design evaluation.

Candidates who pass five design evaluations become Certified Floral Designers (CFDs). In order to maintain their credentials, CFDs must earn 25 continuing education units by attending symposiums and participating in other AIFD-approved events. Renewal is every three years.

Floral designers work in designing arrangements of flowers and can earn the title of Certified Floral Designer after passing five design evaluations. Floral production managers oversee the growth of flowers and plants in a nursery and floral sales representatives are responsible for the sales of those plants. All of these careers require no more than a high school diploma, although experience in the industry, especially for production managers, is an asset when looking for work.

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