You don't need a formal education to get a job as a floral designer or florist, though it can enhance your value. You do need expertise in flowers and floral arrangements to separate yourself from other candidates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an 8 percent decline in florist jobs from 2012 to 2022.
Floral Design Education
Even with a passion for flowers at a young age, you can enhance your expertise and design capabilities with some floral education. Floral schools and technical colleges have classes ranging from floral design to horticulture. Floral classes help you to learn more about different flower types and the environments in which they thrive. Design classes help you develop your creative and artistic talents, which are a distinguishing factor in employment settings. Horticulture courses offer a broader view of how to create floral designs in various settings. You can earn certificates in one or two years.
In addition to, or in lieu of, your floral training, business classes are extremely valuable for aspiring shop owners. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that 26 percent of florists were self-employed as of 2012. To manage or own a shop, you need to understand management principles, administration, bookkeeping, buying, inventory management, merchandising and other operational strategies. The knowledge you gain in a business, management or marketing program prepares you to turn your passion for floral design into a successful business.
Experience and Training
Whether you have advanced education or not, hands-on experience is vital to developing a career in floral design. You can begin the process early in high school by taking a job as a cashier in a retail store. Whether the store sells flowers or not, you build customer-service skills. When you have a chance, work as a clerk or assistant in a floral shop or retail floral department. In these environments, you learn the basics of taking orders, preparing arrangements, adding bows and ribbons, handling flowers and cutting stems.
During your education and training, it's important to focus on several key career skills. Naturally, you need a distinct ability to create attractive and marketable arrangements. The more unique your style, the greater your potential to establish a strong brand image. No matter how impressive your arrangements, you must have excellent customer-service and communication skills to attract and retain customers. To operate your own shop, leadership, management, business and organizational skills are also important.