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Florists design professional floral arrangements for various occasions, such as weddings, funerals or graduations. They also cut and dry flowers to create wreaths, corsages and bouquets used for baskets and holiday decorations. Florists must first know how to treat, raise and care for the greenery and flowers they use. The state of Louisiana used to require budding florists to pass a licensing exam prior to creating or selling any floral arrangements, but the law is no longer in effect as of publication.
Earn a high school diploma. Florists work with basic mathematical and computer skills learned in high school. Florists should also have an understanding of biology and botany to properly care for flowers and other plants. Florists should take communications and English classes to efficiently do business with coworkers and customers.
Consider acquiring post-secondary education. There are community colleges, universities and vocational schools in the state that offer floral design courses, according to the Louisiana State Florists’ Association. The Baton Rouge Community College, the University of Louisiana of Shreveport, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Monroe all offer these courses through their divisions of continuing education. The Creative Floral Design School of New Orleans is a vocational school offering similar courses.
Become professionally certified. Becoming certified can set a Louisiana florist apart from competitors and lead to more job opportunities. Certification is available through the American Institute of Floral Designers. The examination is four hours long and covers four categories of floral design, including table arrangements, wedding arrangements, wearable flowers and funeral tributes. To receive the designation of professional achievement in floral design, applicants need to successfully complete both the physical and written portions of the exam. Louisiana used to require florists to pass a state licensing examination, but that requirement is no longer in force as of the time of publication.
Complete job training. Florist job training consists of learning common flower arrangements, as well as techniques like cutting, tying, caring for, handling and pricing flowers. Training can take at least two weeks, sometimes much longer, depending on the complexity of the business.
Pursue career advancement opportunities as they become available. Louisiana florists looking for advancement opportunities should consider acquiring additional education by enrolling in a Louisiana master florist program. Florists may also choose to go into business for themselves; in that case, they should also pursue entrepreneurial education courses or degrees at colleges or business schools.
Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.