How to Become a Florist

Three Methods:Training to Become a FloristGetting a JobDeveloping Your Style

If you want to combine your love of flowers, art, and people, becoming a florist may be a great option for you. As a floral designer, you will create arrangements for many different events and interact with all types of people. There are many paths to becoming a florist. No matter what path you choose, the more hands-on experience you get, the better you will be.

Method 1
Training to Become a Florist

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    Graduate from high school. Most florists have a high school diploma or a GED.[1] Take classes that will prepare you to work as a florist such as biology, botany, art, and any design courses offered at your school. Also read as many books and blogs as you can about flowers, plants, and gardening.
    • Consider taking business and economics classes in high school as well. These are important aspects of the floral industry too.
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    Get formal training. Although it is not required, post-secondary education can provide you with the skills you need to become a florist. Private floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges offer certificates and/or diplomas.[2] Your training will cover topics such as horticulture, outdoor foliage, indoor floral design, greenhouse maintenance, wedding design, decorating, event planning, and crop care.[3]
    • Look for programs that are approved by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) or licensed by the state.
    • Check with the school to see if they will provide you with flowers, containers, and supplies while you are enrolled in the program.[4]
    • Formal training is very helpful if you ever plan on opening your own shop or becoming a supervisor.
    • A four year degree in horticulture, floriculture, or floral design is an option as well.[5]
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    Get hands-on experience. Whether you receive formal training or not, working with an experienced florist is one of the best ways to develop your skills. This will also give you the opportunity to see what it would be like to work as an actual florist. Many florists begin by working as a cashier or delivery person at a florist shop.[6] Look for opportunities at grocery stores, general merchandise stores, and flower shops.
    • Also consider a formal apprenticeship. This provides hands-on experience without the cost of school.
    • Learn as much as you can while you are working under someone else. Pay attention to the techniques of creating arrangements as well as customer service and the business side.[7]
    • Call or visit a local florist shop and let them know that you are interested in becoming a florist. There may be an opportunity for you to work full-time, part-time, or volunteer.
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    Become a certified floral designer. The American Institute of Floral Designers offers a Certified Floral Designer credential. A certification is not required, but it will demonstrate that you are serious about your craft and have a certain level of proficiency.[8] Certification requires an online test and a hands-on design evaluation.[9]
    • You will score better on the exam if you have formal florist education.
    • Being certified will also help you stand out when you are looking for a job.

Method 2
Getting a Job

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    Prepare your portfolio. Take quality pictures of any arrangements that you make and compile them into a professional portfolio. Your portfolio can be shared with potential employers and clients. Highlight your best work and show the full range of your skills (e.g. bouquets, funeral tributes,centerpieces, wedding designs, etc.).
    • Organize your portfolio in sections (e.g. weddings, funerals, bridal shower, etc.).
    • Each picture should include a description of the arrangement and the price of the arrangement.
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    Market your skills. If you plan to freelance or be self-employed, it is important to market your floral design skills. Set up a website to showcase your work and promote yourself using social media. Ask your friends or family members if they need flowers for a special event. Give small arrangements as gifts to other people instead of buying presents.[10]
    • If people like your work, you will begin to get clients by word-of-mouth.
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    Contact potential employers. If you want to work for someone else, contact the shop or store where you are interested in working. If it is a large company that employs florists, check the website for job openings and apply online. Many florists jobs are found by word of mouth so it is best to call the shop or visit in person.
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    Join a professional association. In addition to the AIFD, many states have a florist association. Visit your state's website or the AIFD website to find job opportunities.[11] You may need to join the association to access the job board. If you received formal education, let your teachers and former classmates know that you are looking for a job in the field. They may know of some opportunities.
    • These websites also have a list of florists who are members of the association. You can contact these florists about employment as well.
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    Prepare for your interview. Wear business casual attire to your interview and bring your portfolio. Demonstrate your knowledge of the floral industry and flowers. Make eye contact and communicate well during your interview because customer service skills are very important for a florist.
    • Business casual attire for women includes tailored shirts, sweaters, pants, skirts, and dresses that are not too tight. Skirts and dresses should be knee length or longer. Cleavage should not be visible. Wear conservative closed toe shoes that are black, brown, navy, or taupe.[12]
    • Business casual for men includes nice slacks or khakis and a long-sleeved button down shirt. Wear leather dress shoes as well.[13]
    • You may or may not have to design or put together an arrangement as part of your interview. If you do have to design, ask if you need to bring your own tools.

Method 3
Developing Your Style

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    Look for inspiration. The floral industry is always evolving, like the fashion and art world. You should constantly be looking for inspiration in books, magazines, and everyday life. Use the inspiration to inform the designs that you create. Keep a notebook of inspirations for your designs to help you keep track of new ideas.
    • Inspiration can come from anywhere. A walk in the park, the architecture of a building, or a painting could inspire your next arrangement.
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    Practice as much as you can. Spend your free time designing and creating new arrangements. Keep a sketchbook of designs that you plan to create. Include the materials and techniques that you would like to use to create the design as well.[14]This will help build your confidence and help you learn new techniques.
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    Cultivate your own style. Floral design is a creative field. Customers rely on florists to recommend different designs, arrange displays, and execute their vision. Having your own point of view will set you a part.[15] What colors are you drawn to? Do you prefer paring unexpected flowers together? Do you like delicate arrangements? Monochromatic arrangements?
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    Borrow from different styles. As you study floral design (on your own or through formal training), you will find that there are foundational techniques that all florists learn. However, by combining and merging different styles, you can come up with something that is all your own. Look at designs created by other florists and identify the elements that you like. Think of ways that you can combine those different elements into something that reflects your personality. Do not be afraid to try something unusual or out of the box.
    • Play with different textures, shapes, and materials.


  • Some schools will offer payment plans for fees rather than requiring upfront payment.
  • Networking is very important, visit florists & try to make friends with people. A lot of florist jobs aren't advertised & often go to friends or by word of mouth.
  • Working as a florist isn't as glamorous as it seems, there's a lot of cleaning, customer service, long hours, ordinary pay & hard work. Seriously consider this before enrolling.
  • Be prepared to work long hours around holidays. It is a very busy time for florists.

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