Flowers have become a medium to express people’s happiness, respect and love. Not only does it make the earth colorful but it also signifies the beauty of life. Flower arrangements have been in demand especially in special occasions such as weddings, parties, anniversaries and a lot more.
If you have the artistic talent of coordinating flowers, making wonderful arrangements and designs, have the passion and knowledge in taking care of them, then you would be a perfect candidate to become a florist. Becoming a florist is an exciting and fun career. To start your career as a florist, here are some points you need to consider.
How to become a florist
- Typically, there is no standard career path potential florists should take in order to practice the profession. However, gaining education, experience and certifications will help you advance in this career.
- Before, most florists gained skills through apprenticeships or on-the-job training in floral shops in order for them to be exposed to the profession. But today most employers mostly consider those who have gained knowledge and skills through training programs and floral design degrees.
1 Consider taking formal education by enrolling in a floral design class
There is no specific state requirement mandated for florists but taking a formal education will help you learn techniques, basic designs and trends that will be useful for you once you start your career as a florist.
- You must be a holder of a high school diploma or its equivalent as most programs and employers will require this.
- There are several courses or floral design training programs you can choose from depending on your availability and budget. It is also best to choose programs or schools that are accredited by your State Education Department or a state florist organization.
- Choose a program in floral design from a community or vocational college, as well as private schools that can last for several weeks up to a year depending on the coursework.
- Most schools provide an intensive training course that will require long hours over the course. This type of program can last for just few weeks.
- There are also other programs that will last about a year to complete, the course included are basically the same but the training and classroom time is less intense.
- You may also choose to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in floral design or other degrees such as floriculture and horticulture. These degrees typically provide basic knowledge in sciences that will be useful for the career like botany, biology, soil management, and hydrology.
- If you decide to own a small flower shop business, then it will also be useful for you to take courses like business, accounting and marketing
2 Get experience working with a certified florist
- Working under an experienced floral designer will also be helpful once you start looking for a job as a full-time florist. In this way, you will be able to learn further techniques and arrangement designs that will give weight to your resume.
- If you consider running your own flower shop, it will also be best to work with a current business owner in order to learn on how to efficiently run a floral business.
3 Consider being certified
Although not required, most florists who have been certified have greater opportunity of getting hired in high-paying positions.
- The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) is an organization that offers a certification exam for florists.
- The certification exam consists of a written exam to measure your knowledge in floral terminologies and a practical exam where you will be required to complete 5 floral designs in a 4-hour time limit.
- Pass all parts of the exam to be granted with the Certified Floral Designer designation.
- What are the eligibility requirements for a certification exam?
- Choose 1 out of the 5 educational pathways.
- Have at least 3 years of work-experience to be eligible for the exam.
- Complete courses that meet learning objectives stipulated by the AIFD.
- Complete at least an undergraduate degree in AIFD-approved programs.
- Complete a design education program offered through a state floral association certification program.
- Complete 5 online courses and required hands-on practicum.
- Complete and pass an enrollment form together with $150 as a candidacy enrollment fee.
- Take the Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) which includes an online written and hands-on evaluation. Cost of the PFDE alone is $1,450 and $1,700 for the PFDE and a National Symposium full registration.
- Pass the written exam with a rate of 80% and above, and a 3.2 mark out of 5 in the practical exam.
- Once you have passed the PFDE, you may obtain accreditation from the AIFD. To be eligible as an accredited member, you must have a passing rate of 4 out of 5 in the hands-on evaluation. Once invited, you must submit an application with biographic information and three letters of recommendation.
4 Consider advancements
- Once you have your Certified Floral Designer designation make sure to maintain your status by completing 25 units of continuing education every three years.
- You may take continuing education courses at community or vocational colleges and floral schools. This will help you to keep up with latest methodologies in floral designs and techniques.
- Advancements will also allow you to advance in supervisory of chief-florist position.
- You may also start running your own floral business. This will provide you the freedom and financial rewards of operating a successful business.
5 Find a job
After obtaining necessary credentials to attract potential employers, it is then your chance to start looking for a job.
- Create a resume that will include your skills, knowledge, education attainment, experience and certifications.
- Pass your resume to local floral shops or flower retailers, even if they are not hiring at the time, ask politely to let your resume on file for you to easily get recommended in vacancies are available.
Becoming a florist doesn’t require any licenses in order for you to practice; it will just have to need your dedication to the job and the love for flowers and arts, plus excellent person skills. Flowers have become a way of people to express their love, respect, honor, happiness or make somebody feel they are special, making floral designers or florists in demand. Because of this, a lot of people explore the floral industry. For you to be successful and competitive, work hard and do your best to be on top of your game.
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