Find Floral Design Classes Near You
On this site, you can learn how to become a floral designer, by finding the right training and choosing the best path for you. We list classes by state and provide the local information you need to get started on this highly creative career path.
You can start here, today, by choosing your state:
District of Columbia
Career Options in Floral Design
Traditional Jobs for Florists
Floral designers play an important role in many of life’s big occasions. Many florists work out of a traditional stand-alone flower shop, which orders cut flowers and foliage from a wholesaler. They sell pre-made and custom arrangements. Traditional florists also work on location with wedding venues and funeral parlors managing displays, boutonnieres and corsages, and bouquets. This work in particular requires more than just floral skills, of course. Floral professionals working on site at events such as these should expect to work long weekend hours, and to work calmly and professionally with clients who may be under a great deal of stress. Other events handled by traditional florists include conventions and receptions for political, professional or charity organizations.
Certain times of the year are very busy for florists. Depending on local demand, they may need to work with temporary floral assistants and extra drivers to meet clients’ needs for Valentine’s day, Mothers’ Day, local graduation and recital season, and prom season.
Other florists work in shops located within other facilities, such as hospitals, university student centers and grocery stores. They may serve a different clientele (more casual purchasers) and operate with more limited stock. Challenges for florists operating in these environments include operating with limited space to store stock, and properly anticipating daily demand to avoid wastage.
More Unusual Jobs for Florists
If you are self-driven, comfortable working in other peoples’ homes and not afraid of heights, starting a business or working with a business decorating peoples’ houses for holidays and events may be a fulfilling job for you. Many upscale families enjoy entertaining during the holidays or even opening up their homes for charity tours. These grand homes require more than just a wreath and a string of lights, though. Clients expect lighting on and around the house (including large trees) and flowerbeds planted with holiday-appropriate selections. Indoors, think multiple themed Christmas trees, coordinated wreaths and garlands, grand centerpieces and more. This work tends to be seasonal, so take that into consideration when developing a business plan. Some owners will own their own equipment and re-usable décor, but others may prefer that you supply everything. For this and plants/greenery, you will need to consider storage for when items are not in use.
Commercial plant design firms serve a similar purpose, but for businesses. Many offices, shopping centers, restaurants and other commercial facilities like featuring live plants and foliage as part of their décor but don’t have the know-how, time or even ambient light for proper maintenance. Commercial plant designers set up and maintain displays, often replacing tired-looking plants with fresh ones.
Have you ever heard of a traveling florist? Some larger cruise ships have an onboard flower shop. They are responsible for preparing pre-ordered arrangements purchased by guests for their cabins, arrangements for dining and reception areas, and even weddings that take place on the ship. Another specialized florist job for those with the travel bug is destination wedding florist—travel ahead of the wedding party to source materials near the location, and work on location to be part of a very special event. Challenges may include local transportation and customs (such as limited business hours) and language barriers.
Think of some of your favorite movies and TV shows. Many feature striking visual details including costumes, makeup, set design … flowers? Every soap opera wedding and funeral, lavish estate or sleek modern home featuring elegant minimal arrangements has to be handled by a floral professional. Some are certainly artificial, but in today’s HD environment, sometimes only the ‘real thing’ will do. Florists for the entertainment industry must have a knowledge of floral history for accuracy in period pieces and be able to choose and refresh pieces that will be subjected to hot lights.
Speaking of lavish estates, many large mansions and historic manors open to the public maintain their own in-house floral team. A job like this would entail knowledge of the traditions of the estate, including historically significant flowers and foliage, and perhaps working in tandem with staff gardeners to coordinate indoor and outdoor floral features. If the home is also residential, such as the White House, floral staff will create arrangements specifically to honor foreign dignitaries, keeping in mind certain colors, shapes or flowers that may have particular significance in other cultures. Large museums also may employ full-time floral staff, who will coordinate arrangements to compliment special exhibits.
Floral design is a unique and ephemeral art form. Like cake decorating, so much work goes into a creation that is destined to only last for a matter of days. With the right skills and ambition, it’s a job that can take you anywhere you want to go!