Florists use their creativity and knowledge of plants and flowers to design and assemble flower arrangements. They also design bouquets and wreaths. If you love plants and flowers, and you have artistic talents, this could be the career you are looking for.
To be a florist, you should have good practical skills. You will need the ability to explain your ideas to customers. You will also need a helpful and pleasant manner.
The most common way to become a florist is to find work with a business and train on the job, often completing work-based qualifications
As a florist you would:
• help customers to choose suitable flowers and plants
• make up bouquets and arrangements based on your own ideas, design books and your customers' requirements
• prepare flowers for formal displays
• advise customers on how to look after the flowers or plants they buy
• set up displays, for example at conferences or exhibitions
• deliver orders to customers.
You may also sell gifts, greetings cards and decorations. If you run your own business, you would keep accounts and carry out other administration tasks.
As a trained and experienced florist, you could start your own business. You could also take further training and move into areas such as freelance floral decoration, floral design, exhibition work, demonstration and teaching.
You may find the following websites useful for vacancies and further reading:
• Flowers and Plants Association
• Grow careers
• Blooming Good Job
The most common way into this job is to find work with a florist’s and train on the job, often completing work-based qualifications.
To find work, you will need a keen interest in floristry and good customer care skills. Previous experience in retail would be useful although not essential.
You could learn some of the skills needed for this job in a number of ways, for example:
• taking a floristry course at a local college
• joining a local flower arranging society
• looking for opportunities to help out in a florist's shop as a volunteer.
Relevant college courses include:
• Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to Floristry
• Level 1 Certificate in Practical Floristry Skills
• Level 1/2 Award in Floral Design
• Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in Floristry.
If you go straight into a job in floristry, you will be trained whilst you work by an experienced florist. You could also go to college on a day-release or parttime basis and work towards a qualification, such as the Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Floristry.
When you are experienced as a florist, you may be able to take further industry qualifications, such as:
• Level 4 Higher Diploma in Floristry
• Level 4 (NVQ) Floristry Business Management
• Level 5 Master Diploma in Professional Floristry.
Starting salaries for junior florists are usually in line with the National Minimum Wage. Experienced florists can earn between 16,000 and 25,000 a year. Earnings for self-employed florists vary depending on the size and location of their business.