Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job over the course of a few months.
Those training to become floral designers typically get hands-on experience working with an experienced floral designer. They may start by preparing simple flower arrangements and practicing the basics of tying bows and ribbons, cutting stems to appropriate lengths, and learning about the proper handling and care of flowers. They also learn about the different types of flowers, their growing properties and how to use them in more complex floral designs.
Many floral designers gain their initial experience working as cashiers or delivery people in retail floral stores.
Many programs in floral design and floriculture are available through private floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. Most offer a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges and universities offer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in floral design.
Classes in flower and plant identification, floral design concepts, advertising, and other business courses, plus experience working in a greenhouse are part of many certificate or diploma programs. In addition to traditional academic classes, many courses are available online or through state and national floral design associations.
The American Institute of Floral Designers offers a Certified Floral Designer certification. Although certification in floral design is voluntary, it indicates a measure of achievement and expertise.
Advancement in the floral field is limited. Taking formal design training can help people who are interested in opening their own business or becoming a chief floral designer or supervisor.
Artistic ability. Designers use their sense of style to develop aesthetically pleasing designs.
Creativity. Floral designers must use their artistic abilities and knowledge of design to develop appropriate designs for different occasions. They must also be open to new ideas as trends in floral design change quickly.
Customer service skills. Floral designers spend a substantial part of their day interacting with customers and suppliers. They must be able to understand what a customer is looking for, explain options, and ensure high-quality flowers and service.
Organizational skills. Floral designers need to be well organized to keep the business operating smoothly and ensure that orders are completed on time.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition