Floral designers create decorative bouquets and large-scale displays of live, dried, or artificial flowers for special occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and banquets, as well as staged theatrical productions. Floral designers recommend specific flowers, containers, and accessories that best compliment the occasion for the display and suit the client’s budget. They are extremely knowledgeable about the characteristics, seasonal cycle, and toxicity of flowers and greenery, and will advise clients on the proper care of the flowers in a floral display. Some designers provide fresh flower arrangements on a recurring schedule to hotels, restaurants, office buildings, and private homes.
Students without a postsecondary degree that have an interest in floral design as a career can learn on-the-job under the tutelage of an experienced florist. However, many vocational training schools offer certificate or diploma programs in floral design or ornamental horticulture and some colleges offer associates or bachelor’s degrees. Floral design programs typically include classes in flower and plant identification, horticulture fundamentals, and floral design concepts, as well as courses in small business management, merchandising, and marketing, since many florists are self-employed and operate their own business.
Several state florist associations as well as the American Institute of Floral Designers offer online certification to qualified florists. Certification is not a requirement for floral designers, but does indicate a high level of expertise in the field.