How to Become a Floral Designer in Maryland
There is a broad spectrum of emotions that floral arrangements can be used to symbolize. When floral designers understand how arrangements can be constructed to convey these different emotions, they will have the ability to transform first-time customers into returning customers. Skilled florists will know how to work with flowers that are simple or complex and colors that are lively or muted, in order to create a design that fits each occasion perfectly. You will be responsible for caring for plant life, cutting live flowers, deciding which design elements should be included in each project and informing customers on what they should expect from the products they choose.
Listening attentively and applying your creative abilities will help you distinguish yourself from industry peers. Customers should feel comfortable speaking with you and confident that you have their best interest in mind. If you show customers they are special to you by delivering on your promises and going the extra mile to meet their needs, you are likely to see your business thrive.
Requirements for Becoming a Floral Designer in Maryland
In Maryland, there are no statewide regulations governing the practice of floral design. There are also no national regulations for florists, which means you could land a job with a high school diploma or GED as your highest level of education. In some instances, you may even be able to find employment without either of these credentials.
Enrolling in a post-secondary education program or finding a local internship will help you advance in this field. You’ll learn industry terminology and begin paying attention to detail in ways that only an experience florist can.
You will find on-campus or online floral design programs at local colleges, universities or regional organizations dedicated to educating new and existing florists. Certificates of completion can typically be earned in less than one year, while associate degree programs will take two years to complete.
Alternatively, you may decide to develop your skills through an internship or apprenticeship. These opportunities may be found by networking with industry colleagues or visiting local flower shops. This type of real-world training will help you advance quickly in the industry.
If you are interested in earning nationally-recognized credentials in floral design, you can become a Certified Floral Designer (CFD). This certification may be especially appealing to floral designers who are looking to do freelance work. Marketing yourself as a CFD will help potential clients to see you as a qualified florist who is knowledgeable about the trade.
Maryland Schools for Floral Designers
There are many ways to improve your skillset as a floral designer. Below are some training programs you may consider:
- Washington Flower School offers workshops as well as four-week certificate courses in floral design. Workshops will last one day or even from one to two hours and cost about $75, while certificate courses are $750.
- Palace Florists is located in the city of Rockville and offers $75 workshops in floral design. Private workshops are also available.
- Carroll Community College offers a certificate in floral design, which takes 96 hours to complete. The school is located in Westminster, and tuition is about $1,734.
National Certification for Floral Designers in Maryland
If you have no professional experience as a floral designer, you may choose to earn certification as a CFD in order to land a job, or simply to show potential clients that you take your career seriously. This title can be earned by completing the exam offered by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). This can be done by completing 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 certificate, pin and a listing in the AIFD online and printed directories upon completion of either of the above options.
Since there are no AIFD-approved training programs in Maryland, you will need to earn this certification by passing the PFDE online test and hands-on design evaluation. This requires payment of a $150 enrollment fee, as well as a PFDE exam fee of $1,550.
To maintain CFD status, you’ll need to renew every three years by submitting a renewal form and showing documentation that you’ve completed at least 25 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The AIFD provides an online list of all the ways available to earn CEUs. Additionally, you will need to pay an annual fee of $124 to maintain this certification.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, floral designers in Maryland earned an hourly average of $14.05 in 2017, which is equivalent to $29,220 per year. The highest paid florists in this state made $39,180 during the same year.
Data from the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reports that there were 960 people employed as floral designers during 2016. By 2026, that number is expected to increase to 1,020. This indicates a 6.3 percent increase in Maryland florists during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026.
Working as a Floral Designer in Maryland
Nationally, the BLS reports that there will be a six percent decline in the floral design job market by 2026. The same data shows that Maryland florists need not be fazed by this number, as the state itself will see a six percent increase in florists by 2026.
Maryland is one of the best states to work as a floral designer, since the job market in this area will continue to improve in the coming years. You can expect to earn the highest salary in Maryland cities like Towson, Bethesda and Sliver Spring.
Florists will find employment in local supermarkets, retail storefronts, greenhouses and more. Practice thoroughness both in your communication and in your craft, and you are likely to see positive results as a floral designer.
Washington Flower School
7409 Brink Rd., Gaithersburg 20882
Tel: (301) 270-1848
American Institute of Floral Designers
9 Newport Dr. Suite 200, Forest Hill 21050
Tel: (443) 966-3850
2116 Renard Court, Annapolis 21401
Tel: (410) 571-3069
Ann Arundel Community College
101 College Parkway, Arnold 21012
Tel: (410) 777-2222
Washington D.C. School of Flower Design
8818 Monard Drive, Silver Spring 20910
Tel: (877) 322-5666
6921 LAUREL AVE, TAKOMA PARK 20912
Tel: (301) 270-1848
Prince George’s Community College
301 Largo Rd, Largo 20774
Tel: (301) 546-7422
Hagerstown Community College
11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown 21742
Tel: (240) 500-2000
Carroll Community College
College 1601 Washington Road, Westminster 21157
Tel: (410) 386-8100
Harford Community College
401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air 21015
Tel: (443) 412-2000
4980 Wyaconda Rd. Ste. B, Rockville 20852
Tel: (301) 945-0253