How to Become a Master Florist

Mar 06, 2020

Learn how to become a master florist. Explore the job duties, educational options and exam requirements as we take you through the step-by-step process that can help you start a career in floral design.

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Master Florists

Master florists cut flowers and design arrangements. They often help customers decide which flowers are best for a particular purpose or occasion. In addition to their work with fresh flowers, master florists might also make designs from dried or silk flowers. As a master florist, you may work full time in floral shops and large retail stores or as an independent contractor for special events. Travel might be required in some situations. Florists usually work during business hours, but some days may be long and busy, especially during holiday rush times.

The term 'master florist' is a designation that certain state florist associations give to floral designers who stand out as professionals with above-average skills in the field of floral design. Georgia, Texas and California are some states that use the title. Aspiring master florists must complete a specified level of training and pass a written and/or practical exam.

Career Information

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; certificate, associate, and bachelor's degree programs are available
Degree Field Floral design
Certification Voluntary
Key Skills Customer service and organizational skills, artistic ability, creativity
Salary $27,200 (2018 median salary for all floral designers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master florists need a minimum of a high school diploma. Certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree programs relative to floral design are available in addition to voluntary certifications. Along with artistic ability and creativity, florists should have good customer service and organizational skills.

Floral designers in general made a median annual salary of $27,200 as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Between 2018 and 2028, though, designers in general can expect a 14% decrease in jobs.

Let's take a look at the educational options that can help you prepare for a career as a master florist.

Step 1: Certificate or Degree

Prospective master florists can enroll in postsecondary programs in floral design at community colleges, universities, or vocational schools. Certificates are typically available in floral design, while associate's and bachelor's degree programs in horticulture or agriculture may include an emphasis on or specialization in floral design. Some states, such as Maine, have programs that cater to the master florist designation. These programs generally offer classes in wedding and funeral flower design, botany, flower arranging and flower identification. Additional topics may include basic floral design, flower and foliage care, floral merchandising and advertising.

Participate in Floral Design Competitions

Students can participate in a variety of professional competitions, including the student competition sponsored by the American Institute of Floral Designers. Competing can help an aspiring florist improve his or her skills and receive feedback and advice on designs he or she has created.

Step 2: Master Florist Exam

After completing formal training, aspiring master florists must pass an exam. In some states, this is a written test. In others, a practical exam is given that tests a candidate's ability to complete a certain number of floral designs within a given time constraint.

Step 3: Continuing Education

Some states that offer the master florist designation require continuing education credits to renew the credential. Continuing education also might be necessary to renew other state or national certifications. Florists can continue their education through attendance at floral conventions, workshops or seminars. In addition to fulfilling recertification requirements, continuing education can help florists stay current on industry trends and learn new business and design skills.

Compile a Portfolio

Master florists should compile a portfolio demonstrating the best examples of their work and designs. A portfolio can be created digitally or in print. Florists can use them to show their work to potential clients and certification boards. Aspiring master florists can begin their portfolios while still in school.

Just to recap, the master florist designation is one certain state florist associations give to floral designers who demonstrate above-average skills in floral design. As of May 2018, florists overall earned a median annual salary of $27,200 a year.

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