2017 Floral Designers
Median Pay: US$25,010
Entry Level: High school diploma or equivalent
Summary
Floral designers, also called florists, cut and arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers, containers, ribbons, and other accessories.
Duties

Floral designers typically do the following:

  • Grow flowers or order them from wholesalers, to ensure an adequate supply to meet customers' needs
  • Determine the type of arrangement desired, the occasion, and the date, time, and location for delivery
  • Recommend flowers and greenery for each arrangement in accordance with the customer's budget
  • Design floral displays that evoke a particular sentiment or style
  • Answer telephones, take orders, and wrap arrangements

Floral designers may create a single arrangement for a special occasion or design floral displays for rooms and open spaces for large-scale functions, such as weddings, funerals, or banquets. They use their sense of artistry and their knowledge of different types of flowers to choose the appropriate flowers for each occasion. Floral designers may also create single arrangements to serve a customer's emotional needs, helping the customers to relax. Floral designers need to know what flowers are in season and when they will be available.

Floral designers also need to know the properties of each flower. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are more delicate and wilt more quickly. Some plants are poisonous to certain types of animals. For example, lilies are toxic to cats.

Floral designers must know the color varieties of each flower and the average size of each type of flower. They may calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals are needed to cover a carpet.

Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend flowers and designs to customers. After the customer selects the flowers, the designer arranges them in a visually appealing display. The designer may include items such as stuffed animals or balloons, or may use decorative vases, when designing a floral arrangement.

Although more complex displays must be ordered in advance, designers often will create small bouquets or arrangements while customers wait. When they are responsible for floral arrangements for a special occasion, such as a wedding or banquet, floral designers usually set up the floral decorations just before the event, then tear them down afterwards. Some designers work with event planners on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events such as weddings.

Floral designers also give customers instructions on how to care for flowers, including what the ideal temperature is and how often the water should be changed. For cut flowers, floral designers often will provide flower food to the customer.

Floral designers also order new flowers from suppliers. They process newly arrived flowers by stripping leaves that would be below the water line. They cut new flowers, mix flower food solutions, fill floral containers with the food solutions, and sanitize workspaces. They keep most flowers in cool display cases so that the flowers stay fresh and live longer.

Some designers have long-term agreements with hotels and restaurants or the owners of office buildings and private homes to replace old flowers with new flower arrangements on a recurring schedule - usually daily, weekly, or monthly - to keep areas looking fresh and appealing. Some work with interior designers in creating displays.

Floral designers who are self-employed or have their own shop also must do business tasks. They must keep track of income, expenses, and taxes. Some hire and supervise staff to help with those tasks.

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