How to become a Florist

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Roses are red, violets are blue – being a florist could be the right career for you!

Are you passionate about all things floral? Do you enjoy making people smile? Florists get to be involved in other people’s special occasions by designing and creating floral arrangements that will leave a lasting impression.

What do they do?

Florist collage

Florists design and create beautiful flower arrangements for a whole host of occasions such as weddings, birthdays and baby showers. The size and scale of the arrangement will vary – someone may want to purchase a single bunch of flowers to present to their partner on their birthday, or they might want to order enough flowers to fill a whole room for an upcoming baby shower. Either way, most people order flowers to spark joy in others, or to offer comfort – which makes the sentiment behind them pretty important.

Some florists work from standard pre-formatted arrangement layouts whilst others become true artists – exploring their own floral designs and producing original creations. Those who get really into floral design, may also create elaborate displays or floral art pieces for competitions or exhibitions.

Whilst florists spend a long time designing and creating, they are also responsible for looking after the plants and flowers within their care. This means that they must know about different species of foliage, flowers, grass and herbs and how to care for them – once they are cut in preparation for arrangement, their care becomes even more important as they now have a shelf life.

Typical daily tasks for a florist include:

  • Choosing and ordering flowers for arrangements
  • Designing and creating wreaths, bouquets and flower arrangements
  • Taking customers’ flower orders and making sure that each arrangement is completed by the specified time
  • Helping customers choose different flower based products and teaching them how to care for their flowers
  • Putting together floral displays at events

What skills do I need?

The right person will:

  • Have a genuine interest in plants and flowers.
  • Have good people skills.
  • Be creative.
  • Have good time management and organisational skills – as people will order flowers and expect them to be ready on time.
  • Have a good eye for detail, as well as understanding and appreciating how different colours and shapes go together. 
  • Be tactful and sincere. The people who usually order/buy flowers often do so for important occasions which mean a lot to them, so they will expect the person they’re buying from to appreciate and understand this.
  • Have a reasonable level of fitness, as the job can be quite physically demanding – you could be on your feet all day and may need to do heavy lifting of pots, display materials and large quantities of flowers.
  • Ideally not suffer from hayfever!

What will I love about the job?

  • The chance to get creative, and experiment with different floral designs.
  • Making people happy with your beautiful designs.
  • Being connected to nature. People typically think of flowers of being products of summer and just being around them can make you feel more cheerful and positive. 
  • Variety – no two days are ever the same and you never know which customer will be walking through the door next and what they’ll ask you to create. One day you could be putting together a romantic bunch of flowers for someone’s anniversary and another day you could be making wreaths for a funeral.

What are the challenges?

  • Being a Florist can mean early starts and a lot of physical work, which may be different from the dainty and delicate work that some people associate with floristry.
  • The people coming to you to order flowers may have heightened emotions, which are linked to the event that they want to flowers for. For example, if someone is ordering flowers for a funeral then they may be very upset, or if someone is making an order for wedding flowers, then they may be very particular about how they want them to look. The fact that there is so much sentiment behind what you’re creating can often add pressure to the role. However, the satisfaction that you get from making people happy with your work will usually make the pressure to deliver worth it.

How much will I earn?

As a Florist, you could earn an estimated salary of £26,000. However, if you become self-employed you will be able to set your own rates and some customers may also give tips!

Are there opportunities to progress?

Some Florists go on to become Store Managers, Supervisors or Head Florists, whilst others may start off as working as an employee for a flower company or shop, and then decide to take the self-employed route once they are confident in their skills.

How do I get started?

floristry courses

To become a Florist you don’t need to have any formal qualifications. However, floristry does involve a lot of skill and knowledge, so there are a couple of routes that you can take to get your floristry career off the ground.

Apply for a trainee role or apprenticeship straight away…

There are many employers who will take you on as a trainee or apprentice florist (with no previous skills and experience) just so long as you have a passion for flowers, plants and people – and a willingness to learn. So if you’re keen to get stuck in and you don’t fancy spending the time and money on any qualifications before making your application, then it’s worth contacting your local flower shops to see whether they have any vacancies, or also have a look online.

…Or gain a floristry qualification to help you develop your skills and credibility

Whilst some people are happy to train on the job, there’s also the option to take a course before you start applying for jobs. This should help to increase your confidence and employability. Employers will often consider your skills and experience when deciding what salary to pay you – and if you have a qualification under your belt, then you’ll be increasing your chances of getting paid a higher wage.

New Skills Academy offer a distance-learning course which will teach you all the skills and knowledge you need to get started as a Florist. The Floristry Academy Diploma consists of 21 modules split over 15 hours and you’ll not only learn the essentials of flower arranging and how to care for the plants and flowers in your care, but you’ll also learn how to create floral pieces for specific occasions such as funerals and weddings.

As you near the end of the course, you will also be taught how to find and apply for floristry jobs, as well as how to start your own business if that’s a route you’d like to go down instead. When you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll receive a CPD-approved certificate and will be confident landing your first job as a Florist.

Are you considering a career as a florist? Or are you already a florist and have some tips to share? We’d love to hear from you – email us at [email protected] or post a question on the community forum.

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