How to Become a Floral Designer in Louisiana
Plant life is a crucial component of human life here on Earth. This is true not only in relation to our ecosystem but also in terms of how we relate to one another. For centuries, humans have been communicating through the language of flowers. Floral designers can be seen as interpreters of this language, as they need to understand the symbols and meanings of different flowers in order to do their jobs effectively.
You may be responsible for cutting live flowers to create a floral arrangement, wreath, bouquet or centerpiece for a wedding, funeral or farewell celebration. No matter the event, floral designers need to combine their skills with empathy and the intention to provide clients with products they will appreciate and remember.
Requirements for Becoming a Floral Designer in Louisiana
Florists are not responsible for following any national or statewide regulations to work in Louisiana. Your high school diploma or GED will get you an entry-level job, and in some cases you can be hired even without either.
Enrolling in a post-secondary training program at a local college or university will allow you to earn a certificate or degree in floral design. There are also national and regional organizations dedicated to training floral designers. Higher education could mean better job offers, an increase in salary and the option to go into business for yourself.
You may decide to complete an internship or apprenticeship in conjunction with, or in place of, completing coursework in floral design. This real-world experience will get you well acquainted with what to expect when you become a professional. When it’s time to begin your job hunt, you will be no stranger to the work environment of a floral designer, and you will already know how to function well within your role.
Voluntary national certification is available to those who are interested. Most employers do not require this certification, but it could be beneficial if you are just starting out and in need of an official title to help show potential clients that you know what you’re doing.
Louisiana Schools for Floral Designers
Floral design courses will teach you what you need to know about traditional floral arrangements as well as current trends within the industry. You will meet others with interests similar to your own, learn industry terminology and boost your current level of expertise.
- Thibodeaux’s Floral Studio is a family-owned business located in New Orleans. Classes are offered at beginner, intermediate and expert levels, on the subjects of fundamentals, weddings, sympathy design and more. All classes take place in a one-on-one setting. Class lengths and pricing will be discussed when students complete an online inquiry form.
- Fat Cat Flowers is also located in New Orleans and offers multiple courses in floral design. Most courses will last for one day, while others are divided into segments lasting two weeks or more. These courses start at $65.
- Baton Rouge Community College offers a Fundamentals of Floral Design course, which takes six months to complete. Tuition for this course is currently $1,695.
National Certification for Floral Designers in Louisiana
National certification is completely voluntary, and most employers do not look for certification before hiring a floral designer. At least six months of experience is ideal to find entry-level employment; however, you may find that national certification will get you hired without having professional experience.
To become a Certified Floral Designer (CFD), you will need to sit for the exam provided by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). Sitting for this exam requires you to complete one of the following:
- Attend and successfully complete the appropriate floral design education programs at an AIFD Education Partner, approved State Floral Association or SAIFD Chapter (AIFD Student Chapter) and then pass the Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) online test.
- Participate in the PFDE online test and hands-on design evaluation.
You will receive a CFD pin, certificate and a listing in the AIFD online and printed directories when you complete one of the above options.
Louisiana currently provides no AIFD-approved education programs, so the only way to earn the CFD credential in this state is to participate in the PFDE online test and hands-on design evaluation. This will require a $150 enrollment fee in addition to a $1,550 PFDE exam fee.
Every three years, the AIFD requires CFDs to complete at least 25 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). These CEUs can be earned by attending public presentations, hands-on workshops, state conventions and more. CFDs will also need to pay an annual fee of $124 on or before May 1st each year in order to retain their certification.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) indicate that there were 970 floral designers working in Louisiana during 2016. The same data suggests there will be 950 florists working in this state by 2026, signifying a 2.5 percent decline during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data show that floral designers in Louisiana earned an average of $11.75 per hour in 2017, which is equivalent to $24,440 annually. The highest paid floral designers in this state earned $34,090 during the same year.
Working as a Floral Designer in Louisiana
Nationally, the job market for floral designers is expected to see a decline of six percent by 2026, according to the BLS. But this is no reason to be discouraged. If you are interested in pursuing this career, seek out ways to network with industry professionals, set yourself apart from others by using your unique artistic abilities and take the initiative to learn all the ins-and-outs of the trade.
You may find that floral designers in Louisiana earn the highest pay in cities like New Orleans, Metairie and Marrero. Local gardens, greenhouses and retail flower shops, among other places, are where most florists will find employment, or you can choose to start your own freelance floral design business.
Use empathy to relate to customers who are in varying emotional states and view the work that you do as a small source of therapy for them. This will allow you to connect to your work in a more intrinsic way, helping you build lasting relationships with clients.
Thibodeaux’s Floral Studio
1114 S. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans 70118
Tel: (504) 866-0121
Fat Cat Flowers
3914 Howard Avenue, New Orleans 70125
Tel: (504) 486-8580
Baton Rouge Community College
5310 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge 70806
Tel: (855) 598-3856