Florists design and sell flower arrangements, bouquets and wreaths.
1. Entry requirements
You could start out by getting work with a florist and training on the job to get work-based qualifications. You’ll find it easier to get work if you have:
- English and maths skills
- a keen interest in floristry
- experience in retail
If you don't have experience, you could get this by volunteering in a florist’s shop. You can find a local florist through the British Florist Association (BFA).
You can get qualifications in floristry by doing a college course or apprenticeship.
For a level 2 course or intermediate apprenticeship, you’ll usually need 4 GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above, including English and maths.
For a level 3 course or advanced level apprenticeship, you’ll usually need 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths. On a level 3 college course, you’ll need to get a training placement – your college will help you with this.
2. Skills required
- creativity and artistic flair
- to know how to look after different flowers and plants
- the ability to explain and sell your ideas to customers
- practical skills
3. What you'll do
You may work in a florist’s shop, a garden centre or department store, or on a market stall. You could also work in an industrial unit dealing with online orders, or at an event venue or hotel designing and installing displays.
You'll usually be:
- talking to customers about their needs and helping them choose flowers and plants
- taking orders in person, on the phone and online
- keeping flowers in perfect condition
- preparing arrangements for weddings, celebrations and funerals
- learning floristry skills like wiring and presentation
- giving plant care advice
- setting up flower displays at events
- cleaning vases and keeping the shop tidy
You could also sell gifts, greetings cards and decorations.
If you run your own business, you'll do admin and keep accounts. You’ll also need to travel to wholesalers, usually very early in the morning, to negotiate prices and buy supplies.
Starter: £10,750 to £14,000
Highly Experienced: £20,000
Starter florists usually earn the National Minimum Wage.
What you'll earn as a self-employed florist depends on your selling skills and the size and location of your business.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll work around 40 hours a week, including Saturdays and Sundays, on a rota basis. Your working day could start early in the morning.
You’ll usually need to work longer at busy times like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine's Day.
You could be on the shop floor or at a workroom bench.
The job is physically demanding and you’ll be working in cool temperatures. You may need to clean containers with bleach.
You may need a driving licence if you deliver to other retail outlets, events or customers.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could start your own business or become a freelance floral decorator, doing exhibition work, demonstrations and teaching.
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Last updated: 21 August 2017