Floral Designers

Summary

floral designers image
Floral designers use their sense of artistry and knowledge of different types of flowers to choose the appropriate flowers for each occasion.
Quick Facts: Floral Designers
2015 Median Pay $25,010 per year
$12.02 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Moderate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2014 58,700
Job Outlook, 2014-24 -3% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2014-24 -2,000

What Floral Designers Do

Floral designers, also called florists, cut and arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers, containers, ribbons, and other accessories.

Work Environment

Most floral designers work in retail businesses, usually flower shops and grocery stores. About 1 in 4 of floral designers were self-employed in 2014.

How to Become a Floral Designer

Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job over the course of a few months.

Pay

The median annual wage for floral designers was $25,010 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of floral designers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2014 to 2024. Many floral designers are employed in the florist industry, in which overall industry employment is projected to decline.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for floral designers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of floral designers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about floral designers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Floral Designers Do About this section

Floral designers
Floral designers grow or order flowers from wholesalers to ensure an adequate supply to meet customers’ needs.

Floral designers, also called florists, cut and arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers, containers, ribbons, and other accessories.

Duties

Floral designers typically do the following:

  • Grow flowers or order them from wholesalers, to ensure an adequate supply to meet customers’ needs
  • Determine the type of arrangement desired, the occasion, and the date, time, and location for delivery
  • Recommend flowers and greenery for each arrangement in accordance with the customer’s budget
  • Design floral displays that evoke a particular sentiment or style
  • Answer telephones, take orders, and wrap arrangements

Floral designers may create a single arrangement for a special occasion or design floral displays for rooms and open spaces for large-scale functions, such as weddings, funerals, or banquets. They use their sense of artistry and their knowledge of different types of flowers to choose the appropriate flowers for each occasion. Floral designers may also create single arrangements to serve a customer’s emotional needs, helping the customers to relax. Floral designers need to know what flowers are in season and when they will be available.

Floral designers also need to know the properties of each flower. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are more delicate and wilt more quickly. Some plants are poisonous to certain types of animals. For example, lilies are toxic to cats.

Floral designers must know the color varieties of each flower and the average size of each type of flower. They may calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals are needed to cover a carpet.

Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend flowers and designs to customers. After the customer selects the flowers, the designer arranges them in a visually appealing display. The designer may include items such as stuffed animals or balloons, or may use decorative vases, when designing a floral arrangement.

Although more complex displays must be ordered in advance, designers often will create small bouquets or arrangements while customers wait. When they are responsible for floral arrangements for a special occasion, such as a wedding or banquet, floral designers usually set up the floral decorations just before the event, then tear them down afterwards. Some designers work with event planners on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events such as weddings.

Floral designers also give customers instructions on how to care for flowers, including what the ideal temperature is and how often the water should be changed. For cut flowers, floral designers often will provide flower food to the customer.

Floral designers also order new flowers from suppliers. They process newly arrived flowers by stripping leaves that would be below the water line. They cut new flowers, mix flower food solutions, fill floral containers with the food solutions, and sanitize workspaces. They keep most flowers in cool display cases so that the flowers stay fresh and live longer.

Some designers have long-term agreements with hotels and restaurants or the owners of office buildings and private homes to replace old flowers with new flower arrangements on a recurring schedule—usually daily, weekly, or monthly—to keep areas looking fresh and appealing. Some work with interior designers in creating displays.

Floral designers who are self-employed or have their own shop also must do business tasks. They must keep track of income, expenses, and taxes. Some hire and supervise staff to help with those tasks.

Work Environment About this section

Floral designers
Floral designers perform customer-service duties, such as answering telephones and taking orders.

Floral designers held about 58,700 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most floral designers were as follows:

Florists 49%
Grocery stores 13
Miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers 2
Sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores 2
Lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores 2

Floral designers in retail businesses can expect walk-in customers, as well as customer orders placed over the telephone or over the Internet, or transmitted electronically by other florists. Some floral designers who work on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events such as weddings have to travel to the various locations of the events.

About 1 in 4 floral designers were self-employed in 2014.

Work Schedules

Many floral designers work full time, although their hours may vary with the work setting.

Independent shops in downtown areas or business districts typically are open during business hours. Floral departments inside grocery stores or other stores in suburban locations and shopping malls may stay open longer.

Floral designers are busier at certain times of the year, such as holidays, than at other times. Because freshly cut flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be completed too far in advance. Therefore, designers often work additional hours just before and during holidays. In addition, many part-time and seasonal opportunities can be found around certain holidays, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.

How to Become a Floral Designer About this section

Floral designers
Most floral designers learn their skills on the job over the course of a few months.

Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job over the course of a few months.

Education

Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent. There are postsecondary programs that are useful for florists who want to start their own businesses. Programs in floral design and caring techniques for flowers are available through private floral schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. Most offer a certificate or diploma. Classes in flower and plant identification, floral design concepts, and advertising, as well as other business courses, plus experience working in a greenhouse are part of many certificate and diploma programs.

Some community colleges and universities offer associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs in floral design.

Training

New floral designers typically get hands-on experience working with an experienced floral designer. They may start by preparing simple flower arrangements and practicing the basics of tying bows and ribbons, cutting stems to appropriate lengths, and learning about the proper handling and care of flowers. They also learn about the different types of flowers, their growth properties, and how to use them in more complex floral designs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The American Institute of Floral Designers offers the Certified Floral Designer credential. Although certification in floral design is voluntary, it indicates a measure of achievement and expertise. To become certified, a floral designer must demonstrate a grasp of floral design knowledge gained through work experience or education.

Advancement

Taking formal floral design training can help people who are interested in opening their own business or in becoming a chief floral designer or supervisor.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Designers use their sense of style to develop aesthetically pleasing designs.

Creativity. Floral designers use their artistic abilities and knowledge of design to develop appropriate designs for different occasions. They also must be open to new ideas, because trends in floral design change quickly.

Customer-service skills. Floral designers spend a substantial part of their day interacting with customers and suppliers. They must be able to understand what a customer is looking for, explain options, and provide high-quality flowers and service.

Organizational skills. Floral designers need to be well organized, to keep the business operating smoothly and to ensure that orders are completed on time.

Pay About this section

Floral Designers

Median annual wages, May 2015

Art and design workers

$43,950

Total, all occupations

$36,200

Floral designers

$25,010

 

The median annual wage for floral designers was $25,010 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,310, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $38,660.

In May 2015, the median annual wages for floral designers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Grocery stores $26,500
Lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores 25,910
Sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores 24,640
Florists 24,590
Miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers 24,300

Many floral designers work full time, although their hours may vary with the work setting.

Independent shops in downtown areas or business districts typically are open during business hours. Floral departments inside grocery stores or other stores in suburban locations and shopping malls may keep longer hours.

Floral designers are busier at certain times of the year, such as holidays, than at other times. Because freshly cut flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be completed too far in advance. Therefore, designers often work additional hours just before and during holidays. In addition, many part-time and seasonal opportunities can be found around certain holidays, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.

Job Outlook About this section

Floral Designers

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Total, all occupations

7%

Art and design workers

2%

Floral designers

-3%

 

Employment of floral designers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2014 to 2024. Many floral designers are employed in the florist industry, in which overall industry employment is projected to decline over the projection period.

Although demand for floral arrangements for events such as weddings, funerals, and anniversaries will continue, the need for floral designers is expected to decline with the number of florist shops in the industry. Orders made online from flower delivery services often are fulfilled by local florist shops. This arrangement can increase the number of orders florist shops receive but can also dampen the demand for additional floral shops as each florist shop becomes increasingly able to serve a wider area of customers.

In addition, grocery stores and general merchandise stores offer floral decorations and loose cut flowers. These stores can make it more convenient for customers to purchase the flowers, thus decreasing the number of trips people make to florist shops for floral decorations. As a result, employment of floral designers is projected to decline 11 percent in florist shops and grow 5 percent in grocery stores.

Job Prospects

Those with formal education in floral design will have better prospects.

Employment projections data for floral designers, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Floral designers

27-1023 58,700 56,700 -3 -2,000 [XLSX]

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of floral designers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2015 MEDIAN PAY Help
Craft and fine artists

Craft and Fine Artists

Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, and other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.

See How to Become One $45,080
Meeting, convention, and event planners

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.

Bachelor's degree $46,840
Fashion designers

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they designed.

Bachelor's degree $63,670
Graphic designers

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Bachelor's degree $46,900
Interior designers

Interior Designers

Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.

Bachelor's degree $48,840
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Floral Designers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/floral-designers.htm (visited June 28, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

What They Do

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Work Environment

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Pay

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State & Area Data

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2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2014

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2014-24

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.