Career Development

Florist Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

Florists sell flowers, plants, and other items for decorating or gifting. Florists may work in retail florist shops, but many also sell wholesale to restaurants, hotels, caterers, and event planners.

Florists sell flowers, plants, and other items for decorating or gifting. Florists may work in retail florist shops, but many also sell wholesale to restaurants, hotels, caterers, and event planners.

Florists must be familiar with the different types of flowers and know how to properly arrange them. They must be detail-oriented and have good communication skills. Florists often work with customers directly to help them choose the right flowers for an occasion.

Florists must be able to lift heavy boxes of flowers and use special tools like shears and snippers. Because they handle delicate items, they should have steady hands and be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment. Florists typically work indoors but may also work outdoors if they sell potted plants or herbs or are growing the flowers themselves.

Florist Job Duties

Floral designers are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:

  • Creating floral arrangements according to customer specifications and preferences
  • Arranging flowers in bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, or other floral arrangements
  • Selecting the best flowers available for seasonal arrangements according to color and quality
  • Communicating with customers and suppliers regarding the status of orders and deliveries
  • Handling customer complaints and resolving issues with payments
  • Maintaining a knowledge of current events and occasions to ensure that they can recommend appropriate flowers, designs, and pricing options for each occasion
  • Preparing flowers for shipping and delivery, including arranging bunches in vases, wrapping bouquets in cellophane or paper, and securing arrangements with rubber bands or pins

Florist Salary & Outlook

The median annual wage for florists is $52,522. The highest earners make over $105,000 per year. Those earning the highest wages tend to work in specialty shops.

The employment of florists is expected to decline over the next decade. This decline is driven by changing consumer preferences and technological advances that make it easier to buy flowers online.

Florist Job Requirements

To become a florist, you need to have a combination of education, training, and experience.

Education: Florists need a high school diploma or a GED, but some employers will prefer an associate’s degree in a related field. Courses like biology, botany, art, and design classes can help students become florists, as well as courses related to business.

Training: Floral designers gain much of their knowledge through on-the-job training under the supervision of an experienced florist. They learn skills like how to properly pack and ship flowers, identifying various types of flowers and vases, and how to prepare different types of arrangements. There are no set standards for florist training, so it is up to each company to provide adequate information to prepare employees. Some companies may allow an employee to participate in a mentorship program that provides hands-on training.

Certifications: While certification is not required, it can demonstrate an individual’s understanding of the floral industry. The Society of American Florists offers several certifications.

Florist Skills

The following skills are required to be a successful florist:

Creative skills: Florists must have strong visual-spatial abilities, along with the ability to think creatively. They must be able to visualize finished arrangements before they start arranging flowers. Florists must have an eye for color and design when creating floral arrangements.

Organizational skills: Florists must be organized in order to keep track of the many different orders that come into their shops every day.

Time management skills: Florists are often required to work under tight deadlines, especially during peak times such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. They are often required to multi-task, and must also be able to prioritize.

Customer service skills: A florist must possess excellent people skills because he or she will regularly interact with customers who are buying flowers for special occasions. Some florists also need to have sales experience.

Communication skills: Florists need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively as they need to understand client preferences, be able to present options clearly to clients, make recommendations, and coordinate deliveries.

Flower arranging skills: Florists must understand various aspects of flowers such as flower care, flower symbolism, and flower arranging techniques.

Florist Work Environment

A florist’s job can be physically demanding at times, particularly when they are arranging large amounts of flowers. For example, some florists may regularly use hand shears, scissors, or knives to cut stems and leaves. This is especially true for specialty cutters who work on unusual arrangements such as custom-made wedding bouquets. Florists may also strain their wrists while holding heavy buckets while watering plants.

The work takes place indoors in a well-lit environment. Florists often spend long periods at the computer doing administrative tasks, ordering supplies, and designing floral displays. The use of chemicals (including pesticides) is sometimes an issue for florists. There is always potential hazard associated with working with chemicals like fertilizers. Poor ventilation could increase the risk of exposure.

Florist Career Advancement

The majority of florists start out as assistant florists. As they gain more experience, they may be promoted to the role of floral designer. In this case, they will be responsible for creating unique and original designs for customers. After a few years, a florist may become a floral designer-in-charge. This position requires the florist to manage a team of designers and take the lead on projects.

Florists can also choose to become salespeople. This career path can lead to a more managerial role. In this position, they will work with a team to create the most profitable flower arrangements for customers. They will be required to work with wholesalers to negotiate prices and manage the company’s inventory. They may also become a senior manager or a large account coordinator.

Florist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how florists work. Florists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Social Media Presence

Florists who want to stay competitive in the marketplace will need to consider how they can use social media to their advantage.

Not only is this an effective way to reach new customers, but it can also help build brand awareness among current clients.

A good social media presence is particularly important for smaller businesses with limited advertising budgets because of the ability to connect directly with potential customers through these channels.

Flower Industry Embraces Tech

While the floral industry has been slow to embrace technology, it is now becoming a vital part of florists’ operations.

Some companies are developing apps that allow customers to browse and select flowers and then arrange for delivery with the click of a button.

In addition, 3D printing technology is making it possible for consumers to customize their own flower arrangements in a range of styles and colors.

More Than Just Flowers

As the floral industry continues to grow, florists are being forced to evolve their business models in order to stay relevant.

As more florists compete for a limited number of flower arrangements, they are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition—by providing unique services that only they can offer.

One example is companies that specialize in offering one-of-a-kind bouquets that are created using seasonal flowers sourced directly from local farmers. 

How to Become a Florist

1. Planning Your Career Path

If you’re interested in a career as a florist, it’s important to think about the type of setting that will best suit your needs. Some florists work at retail locations while others work at hotels or other venues. 

If you like interacting with customers, working at a retail location may be ideal for you. You can make suggestions based on customer preferences and build relationships with regulars who return frequently. Working at a hotel may provide more flexibility but less interaction with clients. However, it could also mean being part of an exclusive team. 

If you are interested in working with roses or other seasonal flowers, think about where you live; if you live in an area that has very distinct seasons, you may be able to enjoy seasonal employment year-round. However, if your region is more temperate, seasonal employment may only be available during the months when flowers are in season. Consider this when deciding on your career path.

2. Writing a Resume

The best resumes for florists highlight their creative and artistic abilities, as well as their marketing and sales experience. You can demonstrate your interpersonal skills by talking about how you interacted with customers and how this helped to improve their experience.

In addition to your work history, it’s also useful to include details about your education in floral design or horticulture. You can also highlight any certifications that you have achieved such as floral design accreditation from a local college or university. Try to include photos of your floral designs so they can be inspired by your creativity.

3. Applying for Jobs

To find a job as a florist, you’ll want to consider the “old-fashioned” way of networking. In-person is always best, so attend conferences and conventions in your area that have a floral presence. For instance, try going to a local farmer’s market on Saturdays and introduce yourself to vendors, who may have their own personal arrangements business on the side. Once you have a contact or two, let them know you’re looking for a job and they may be able to point you in the right direction. 

Additionally, look for florist-specific career fairs and events where hiring managers will be present.

4. Ace the Interview

You’ll want to be prepared for questions about what you love about being a florist and how comfortable you are with sales, marketing, and customer service. Be sure to emphasize your creativity, passion for floral design, and knowledge of trends. Prepare to discuss your work experience in detail, including your responsibilities and the projects you have been involved in. Bring a portfolio to the interview so that you can highlight your designs.

No matter what your interview is for, it’s important to think about the company or person you’re interviewing for. If you’re interviewing for a position at a large corporation, interviewers will expect you to have strong organizational skills. If you’re interviewing for a position at a small business or start-up, they will probably be looking for passion and creativity.

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