Floral designers, or florists, create stunning flower arrangements. Education and experience in floral design enables them to make the right decisions about color composition, cutting techniques, flower care, types of flowers, pricing and more. While floral designers can pick up these skills at work, a diploma or degree program allows them to fully work in the field right from the beginning.
Training options for floral designers
Floral designers pursue online art and design degrees at the following levels:
- Diploma. These programs are the most common for floral designers and include coursework in care and handling, color theory, floral design principles, nomenclatures, special occasion arrangements and sales techniques. A diploma in floral design can take anywhere from several weeks to up to a year to earn.
- Associate degree. Florists can seek an Associate of Applied Science degree in floral arranging, horticulture or floriculture. These programs generally require two years of full-time study and focus more on the science of planting and growing flowers.
- Bachelor's degree. Bachelor of Science degrees in floriculture, horticulture or greenhouse management take four years to complete and offer students a deep understanding of plant biology. Bachelor's degree programs also include liberal arts coursework and can provide floral designers with the skills to run a business.
Earning an online degree in floral design
Though floral design itself is a hands-on profession, its history, principles and techniques can be shared in an online environment. Online degrees in floral design are typically available at the diploma level. With online courses, students can study the theory and methods behind floral design and put their knowledge to work creating their own arrangements.
Many online degrees in floral design make use of videos to help students understand the visual principles behind floral design. Online students can watch videos of design demonstrations on the Internet until they understand the elements behind a great-looking bouquet. Online floral design students can also network with others, gain business ideas and discover how websites can be important to floral businesses.
Floral design careers
Those interested in a career in floral design should be creative, detail oriented, coordinated and friendly. Floral designers must listen to customer needs and teach clients about proper plant care. Verbal communication skills are important. Business skills are also necessary for floral designers who wish to open their own shop.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 47,000 floral designers working in the U.S. in 2010. Many florists look for jobs in floral shops, grocery stores and general merchandise stores when they graduate. Other floral designers work for wholesale flower distributors and select which flowers to purchase and sell to retail florists. Whether a florist wants to design flowers for a wedding reception or select seasonal blooms for a wholesaler, floral design degrees and diploma programs offer the training for success.
Floral design at a glance
- Interesting fact: According to the College Board, American floral design broadened after World War II, when exotic flowers could be flown in from other lands
- Organizations to join: American Institute of Floral Designers, Society of American Florists
- Salary: Average hourly wages for floral designers were $12.04 in 2010
- States with the most floral design workers: Texas, New York and California
- Top employers: Florist shops, grocery stores, general stores
- Training: Formal floral design training can be completed online in under a year