How to become a Florist. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about Florist careers.
What does a Florist do?
Florists use their creativity and knowledge of plants and flowers to design and make up flower arrangements, bouquets and wreaths. They work with all kinds of materials, including cut flowers and foliage, pot plants, and dried and artificial flowers.
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 and wire 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 also keep accounts and carry out other administrative tasks.
You would work shop hours, including Saturdays and possibly Sundays. You may need to start work very early in the mornings to buy stock, and work extra hours to make sure orders are completed on time (especially at busy times such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day).
You could work in a shop or on an outside stall. You would spend most of your time on your feet, either dealing with customers or working at a bench in the workroom where flower arrangements are made up. You may need to travel to wholesalers, nurseries, or to make deliveries to customers.
How much does a Florist earn?
Salary and pay information:
- Earnings for new entrants can be around the National Minimum Wage.
- Experienced florists can earn from around £18,000 to over £20,000 a year.
- Managers can earn around £29,000.
You can find details of the National Minimum wage on the Directgov website.
Earnings for self-employed florists vary depending on the size and location of their business.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
The most common way to become a florist is to find relevant work and train on the job, often completing work-based qualifications.
To find work, you will need to be able to show that you are interested in floristry and have the potential to be good at it. Ways of doing this could include:
- attending courses in flower arranging or basic floristry at a college or adult education centre
- joining a local flower arranging club
- looking for opportunities to help out at a florist’s on a voluntary basis.
See the National Association of Flower Arrangement Clubs website for details of local clubs.
You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more about Apprenticeships, visit the Apprenticeships website.
Instead of on-the-job training, you could attend a full- or part-time course before looking for work. You can do courses at various levels, depending on the qualifications or experience you already have. Relevant courses include:
- Lantra Awards Level 1 Certificate in Introductory Floristry
- NPTC Level 2 Award/Certificate/Diploma in Floristry
- BTEC Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in Floristry
- BTEC Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Floristry.
Visit the Flowers and Plants Association website for details of some of the colleges offering courses. See the Society of Floristry website for an overview of training options.
Training and Development
If you go straight into a job in floristry, you will be trained on the job by an experienced florist. You could also attend college on a day release or part-time basis to work towards levels 2 and 3 Award/Certificate/Diploma in Work-based Floristry.
You can also develop your skills by doing short courses which are run by some colleges and flower delivery services.
When you are experienced as a florist, you may be able to gain the following qualifications:
- NPTC Level 4 Higher Diploma in Floristry (HDF)
- NPTC Level 5 Master Diploma in Professional Floristry (MDPF)
- NVQ Level 4 in Floristry Business Management.
Visit the Society of Floristry website for details of course providers.
A few colleges and universities offer relevant foundation degrees and degrees. To search for foundation degree and degree courses, see the UCAS website.
Skills and Knowledge
- creativity and artistic flair
- an understanding of the properties and needs of different plants and flowers
- the ability to explain your ideas to customers
- good practical skills
- a helpful, pleasant and tactful approach
- the ability to handle money and work out costs
- the ability to work under pressure.
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.