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Floral Design Education Requirements and Career Information

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

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Education Requirements for Floral Designers

Training

Floral designers usually start their careers straight out of high school, usually 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. Floral designers work with all types of plants, including live and artificial flowers. They use accessories like bows and ribbons. They create wreaths, bouquets, table centerpieces, corsages and other displays. Floral designers must be creative and possess strong customer service and problem-solving skills. Floral designers must also be able to work independently and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Employment

Most floral designers work in small specialty floral shops. Others work in grocery stores or for online floral shops and wholesale flower distributors. Some floral designers are self-employed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all floral designers worked in florist shops in 2008. About 12% worked in grocery store floral departments. 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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