Have you noticed the beauty right outside of your window? Nature’s palette, the green grass and blue sky, often has touches of color dabbled in, as if a painter put it there. Like gemstones waiting to be admired, flowers are present to make you smile, to remind you of life’s cycle happening all around you, and to evoke emotions, whether it is joy, peace, or thankfulness.
Flowers tell a story. They say “I love you,” “I’m thinking of you,” “I’m sorry for being a jerk,” or, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Flowers help us to celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays, job promotions, a marriage, or other great accomplishments.
Often, the color of the flowers you give portrays a feeling or sentiment you wish to express. Red flowers symbolize love, passion, and courage. Yellow flowers represent friendship and happiness. Pink flowers also symbolize love and femininity which are perfect for Mother’s Day, while peach tones express gratitude. The point is… if you’re not so great with words, say it with flowers! As a florist, you are the designer and creator of such sentimentality.
Do you have a particular question? We’ve summed up the Q and A’s with this Quick Link section!
- Should I be a “Florist” or a “Floral Designer”? Is there really a difference?
- How do I learn to be a Floral Designer?
- Can I learn to be a florist via a 100 percent online program?
- What will I learn with a Floral Design degree or certificate diploma?
- What supplies will the online school provide? What will I need to provide?
- What tools will I need?
- Do I need apprenticeship training?
- Do I need any special certifications?
- Is licensure required to be a Florist/Floral Designer?
- Best Online Schools for Becoming a Florist/Floral Designer
Should I be a “Florist” or a “Floral Designer”? Is there really a difference?
Pretty flower arrangements are created by talented floral designers and/or florists. They work hard to get just the right blend of color, texture, and uniformity to make a bouquet that looks perfect… and that’s true for floral designers or a florist, no doubt.
Perhaps, the main difference in the two titles (and the obvious one) is that most often the florist has a florist’s shop, or storefront. A florist maintains a place of business by selling their arrangements, taking orders via phone or online, and delivering them to the intended receiver, funeral home, or sometimes a wedding venue. However, a florist often will not set up and tear down after an event is over.
In this capacity, a florist also makes the special-order floral arrangements, keeps stock flower arrangements available for walk-in customers to purchase, and also often supplies balloons, candy, cards, and other small trinkets to sell in their shops as well. A florist will provide flowers that will last a week or so; therefore, some flowers are not yet in full bloom, but in bud form.
In most cases, floral designers either work within a florist’s shop or will provide their designs for special events, including weddings, special birthday parties, company events, or other social gatherings. A floral designer is tasked with creating floral designs that are unique to their client’s needs and personality.
Floral designers work diligently to make “that special day” one to remember for a lifetime. For example, if you hire a floral designer for your wedding, they will want to be aware of your color scheme and all other details that will complement their flower designs. Floral designers provide flowers that are in their full glory, abound with blooms, ready to show off for your perfect day!
Also, they often provide arch, pedestal, vases, and candle rentals as well in their pricing. In addition, they will deliver, set up and take down their equipment after the event.
How do I learn to be a Floral Designer?
If you have decided a career in floral design is for you, then congratulations! Perhaps you’ve been interested in flowers, horticulture, or gardening since you were a child, as often parents or grandparents give us the inspiration to work in the garden for the excitement of watching a beautiful flower grow from a mere seed. If you would like to make a career out of it, then it is good to be passionate about it!
What is the process of becoming a floral designer, you ask? Besides your exceptional artistic ability and creativity, you will also need to be properly trained in the field of floral design. Although a formal education may not be required, a career diploma in the field will help you be successful, as well as look promising to future employers.
In addition, if you would like, there are associate and bachelor’s degree programs available; however, they will include the additional basic college courses required in a degree program. Business courses are a plus if you intend to run your own floral design company or a florist shop.
If you decide to pursue a formal degree in the field of floral design, please be sure that it is properly accredited by the American Institute of Floral Designers, as well as the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Can I learn to be a florist via a 100 percent online program?
Fortunately, if flexibility is important to you, you may easily find 100% online floral design programs. These programs vary in length, usually lasting a few months to a year, depending on your pace. The classes are typically available when it is convenient for you. As most are bogged down with tedious work schedules and family responsibilities, online classes are the perfect solution.
Also, floral design classes can be found on-campus at vocational colleges or community centers, as well as hybrid classes that combine online learning with some on-campus, hands-on training through workshop participation. You can choose the learning format that best suits your needs.
What will I learn with a Floral Design degree or certificate diploma?
Coursework in a floral design class includes floriculture to discern different floral and plant types, floral arranging techniques, foliage care for silk and cut flowers, along with retail florist management and ownership. You will also learn how to do specialty arrangements such as needed for a wedding or funeral. Classes also include modern floral designs, Japanese floral designs, potted plants, silk flower arrangements, and how to construct table arrangements, gift baskets, floral displays, and cascading centerpieces.
In addition, coursework will also include how to use balance, color, and harmony in your floral designs as you create arrangements in the form of corsages and boutonnieres, church arrangements, pew markers, and of course, the perfect bridal bouquet. You will also learn how to construct and market holiday-inspired arrangements for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In addition, you can expect to learn about how to conduct business, such as common accounting practices, estimating costs, negotiating with vendors, sales and marketing, pricing and customer relations, in addition to floral design history. You will need to develop your own work portfolio to impress prospective employers.
What supplies will the online school provide? What will I need to provide?
Most online schools will provide the “books” necessary for you to complete your course. Either in hard copy form or online, you will receive the instruction you need to complete your course.
What about tools to work with? Some schools offer beginner kits to help you get started, and some require that you provide your own. In either case, you will need to provide your own fresh flowers for arranging.
What tools will I need?
As with any trade, it’s all easier… if you have the right tools. The culinary expert needs the right chef’s knife for the job, the jewelry designer needs small pliers to hold the stones, and a mechanic needs the proper wrenches to get the job done… you get the idea! To begin your coursework in floral design, the basics will do. As you progress, your tool arsenal will grow, without a doubt.
A few must-haves include:
- Floral Bunch Cutter
- Sharpened Knives
- Pruning Shears
- Floral Foam and Holder
- Floral Wire and Cutter
- Floral Adhesive
- Glue Gun
- Thorn Stripper
- Floral Pillow Cage/Flower Frog
- Vase and Ribbon
There are many other valuable tools to consider, but the above suggestions will get you started. In addition, your online class instructor will advise you on the best tools to use as well.
Do I need apprenticeship training?
To add to your accolades, an apprenticeship opportunity is a great way to help jump-start your career, not to mention… it is the absolute best way to gain valuable experience and knowledge.
While working an apprenticeship, you can develop your own style as you gain inspiration from other experienced floral designers, as well as florists that are operating their own shop. In this setting, you will learn the business aspects of running a floral shop, too.
Whether your certificate or degree program requires an apprenticeship or not, it is an excellent idea!
Do I need any special certifications?
For additional accolades, you may want to consider earning certification from the American Institute of Floral Designers, which offers two levels of certification: Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and then also, an accredited member of the AIFD.
Are certifications required? No, not necessarily… but if you would like to receive additional training, get a promotion, or raise in pay, you should certainly consider it, if at all possible. If you intend to open your own florist or floral design business, certifications display your expert knowledge and dedication to your craft.
Is licensure required to be a Florist/Floral Designer?
Simply put, every state has different mandates on licensure for practicing as a florist or floral designer. You will need to check it out before you begin your program. In addition, please be sure your school choice is properly accredited if you intend to acquire certifications.
Also, if you intend to open your own business, please check out your state’s necessary regulations for a business license and the like.
Get started today…
So, go ahead, use your imagination to create an exciting… or relaxing atmosphere with flowers. Floral design is truly a form of art and should be viewed as the beautiful craft that it is. Create a sense of comfort for your clients and bring them closer to nature in the process.
And, perhaps you would like to take an online program just for yourself… as a hobby. In addition to online videos, enrolling in an accredited online school for floral design will ensure that you are receiving quality instruction. Who knows… you may eventually want to turn your hobby into a full-time booming business!
Enroll in a floral design career diploma program today to help you get started in a promising and rewarding career!
If you are interested in this career field, please see our choices for the best Online Schools for Becoming a Florist/Floral Designer program.