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Floral Designers picture    Floral Designers image

Floral Designers (or florists) are specialists in the art of designing and creating floral arrangements in various shapes and sizes that include, but are not limited to, bouquets, table centerpieces, wreaths, and corsages. In addition to fresh cut flowers, a designer may work with/include silk flowers, foliage, plants, botanical materials, herbs, or various ornamental grasses. Arrangements may also be housed in a variety of vessels such as vases, baskets, or bowls and may include embellishments that add to the overall look or theme (e.g., ribbons, balloons, candles, candy). A floral designer designs arrangements for a variety of occasions such as birthdays, holidays, showers, weddings, funerals, and a wide variety of special events.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities or duties of a designer vary depending upon the environment in which they work. Below is a sampling of some environments and the associated tasks typically performed by a designer.

  • Privately Owned Shops - Most designers work in small, private floral establishments that typically cater to custom and large orders for events and special occasions such as weddings, showers, or those required by an interior designer or caterer. In these scenarios, a Designer can meet with a customer to review and discuss the specific occasion, type of arrangement(s) needed, arrangement options, the customer's wishes and preferences, prices, schedule, and delivery. With special occasions, a designer may typically assist with floral decoration set up, and may also provide assistance to interior designers who are creating displays for restaurants, hotels, special showings, and/or private residences. Many designers create a variety of arrangements and displays to have on hand for point-of-sale, or walk-in, customers.
  • Grocery Stores and Internet Floral Establishments - Designers who are employed by floral departments in grocery stores or Internet floral establishments specialize in the creation of various arrangements, bouquets, and decorations made in advance of purchase. They also tend to fill small, custom orders for funerals and special occasions. Grocery stores rarely, if ever, offer delivery of arrangements to customers and generally do not take on large custom orders.
  • Wholesale Floral Distributors - A wholesale designer who works in this type of business generally provides assistance with the selection and purchase of flowers and greenery that are to be sold to retail florists. The designer can also determine the specific flowers to be included in displays used as customer samples.
  • Self-Employed Designers - Individuals who are self-employed manage all the components of running a business, from flower selection and purchase to hiring and managing staff to determining and managing budgets and finances, and more. Many of these designers also run a related, side business that supplements or compliments their floral business, such as wedding floral consultation, gift shop, or public classes on floral design or gardening.

Job Characteristics

Because flowers are perishable, most orders must be created very close to a delivery date. As a result, most designers may work nights and weekends in order to fulfill large or time-sensitive orders (e.g., showers, weddings, funerals). Designers also work long hours before and during holidays when the volume of orders increase.

Most individuals in this profession work in well-lit, comfortable environments, as well as outdoors, when needed. Designers may travel to customer locations or event sites to deliver and/or set up arrangements, and to vendor locations to purchase supplies and flowers. Most trips tend to be short in distance.

When creating arrangements a designer typically stands for long periods of time and use the same arm and finger movements, which may result in various muscle strains. Designers are also prone to back strain from moving, carrying, and/or lifting heavily weighted arrangements. Allergic reactions are also common in this profession as some designers find themselves experiencing reactions to certain types of pollen. Lastly, if used improperly, injuries may occur due to frequent use of sharp items such as wire, knives, and scissors.

An individual in this profession is expected to possess and/or display many of the following skills and attributes:

  • creativity
  • flexibility
  • service-oriented attitude
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • judgment and problem-solving abilities
  • organizational and time management skills
  • ability to adapt to and apply changing trends
  • ability to work independently, and at times, under pressure

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for floral designers is "expected to decline moderately, 9 percent, between 2006 and 2016." Demand for floral decorations and arrangements are expected to grow however, as a result of:

  • increases in the population
  • demand for up-scale weddings and special events
  • rises in disposable income
  • increased spending in interior design (generating both live and artificial arrangements)

In spite of the increase in demand for floral decorations and arrangements, employment opportunities are expected to be few in the wholesale industry. Reason being that in order to cut costs many floral shops are purchasing flowers and supplies directly from growers. Another factor is that the rapid growth in e-commerce (electronic commerce) within the floral industry affords a retail florist the ability to more easily find suppliers.

Individuals considering this profession should note the sensitivity between arbitrary consumer spending on flowers and floral products and the state of the economy. In a down economy, job opportunities are more than likely to decline as arbitrary spending on flowers falls off, and vice versa.

Floral Design Schools and Certification

Formal, post-secondary training is not required for this profession; most designers learn their vocation from on-the-job experience. There are however, several vocational and private floral design schools and community colleges that offer programs and certificates in floral design. A high school diploma is generally a prerequisite for acceptance into a floral design program and most run from several weeks up to one year. Floral design schools provide instruction on the fundamentals of floral arranging, including trends, pricing, exposure to the many varieties of flowers and their colors and textures, appropriate care and handling of flowers, and techniques for cutting and taping, and applying and tying embellishments such ribbons and bows.

Individuals seeking an associate or bachelor's degree may look to community colleges and universities. While some of these institutions offer degree programs in floral design, others may offer degrees in horticulture or ornamental horticulture (science or art of vegetable, fruit, flower, or ornamental plant cultivation) and/or floriculture (flower and flowering plant cultivation). Courses typically include floral design, botany, chemistry, hydrology, microbiology, soil management, and pesticides. Those seeking to own and manage their own business may add courses to their program such as accounting, business, marketing, and computer technology.

Designers seeking recognition of their professional achievement in floral design may look to the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). The AIFD accreditation exam comprises two parts: a written section covering floral terminology, and a practical, onsite, floral arranging section where candidates must complete five floral designs within four hours. The five design categories are:

  • wedding arrangements
  • funeral tributes
  • table arrangements
  • wearable flowers
  • a category at the sole discretion of the candidate

Individuals who have completed formal design training/education are better positioned for advancement and also tend to secure the better opportunities. Advancement in this profession is fairly limited to most experienced Designers moving on to positions such as supervisor or Chief Floral Designer, or perhaps opening their own floral business.

Resources

Major Employers

If not self-employed, individuals seeking employment in this profession can find opportunities in establishments that include florist shops; floral departments within grocery stores; Internet floral shops; general merchandise stores; wholesale companies; and, lawn and garden equipment and supply stores.

Floral Designers Skills

Below are the skills needed to be floral designers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Active Listening43.12
Speaking3.883.38
Service Orientation3.383
Social Perceptiveness3.383
Time Management3.252.88

Floral Designers Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be floral designers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Comprehension43.75
Oral Expression43.88
Visualization3.883.5
Visual Color Discrimination3.624
Near Vision3.623.12

Floral Designers Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be floral designers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Customer and Personal Service4.073.58
Production and Processing3.553.41
Sales and Marketing3.473.14
Design3.412.89
English Language3.393.1

Floral Designers Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being floral designers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Getting Information4.053.46
Thinking Creatively3.874.16
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work3.754.12
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public3.684.03
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events3.554.41

Floral Designers Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being floral designers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Dependability4.41
Attention to Detail4.29
Integrity4.22
Cooperation4.11
Concern for Others4.05

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Floral Designers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Floral Designers jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim1,190 $32,480
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington930 $26,810
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach880 $29,780
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue640 $34,810
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell570 $26,590
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood570 $31,780
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land530 $27,250
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward480 $39,380
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater390 $26,480
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario390 $33,470

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to floral designers

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.