How fun is it to create a work-of-art bouquet for a bride on her wedding day? But while you work to make sure the bride stands out on her special day, you may be struggling for the spotlight in your own industry. If you own your own florist business, you especially want to make sure your products and services shine brighter than those of your local competitors in the flower biz. Boost your business and enhance your career by earning a florist certification. Before long, brides will be lining up to carry one of your one-of-a-kind bouquets down the aisle.
Many grocery stores and floral shops hire designers who have no formal education or training in floral design. For customers, this means that there is little guarantee that the employee putting together their arrangements has any real professional skill. Voluntary florist certification demonstrates that you have the knowledge, experience and artistic skill to put together beautiful, unique arrangements that meet customers' specifications. Certification verifies that your designs have undergone evaluation and met the expectations of professional certifying boards in the art of floral design. As a business owner, being certified helps you market yourself as a superior designer, compared with competitors who are not certified.
Education and Experience
Each certifying institution has its own certification process, with individual experience and education requirements. Commonly, certifying boards expect candidates to have a certificate, diploma or degree in floral design, or to have attended courses sponsored by the professional association offering the certification. Many require that candidates have several years of experience working as a florist. Attending workshops and seminars offered by the certifying organization or being a member of the organization may also count as relevant experience and education toward certification.
Most states have their own professional florist associations, and some offer a state-recognized certification in floral design. For example, the California State Floral Association offers the California Certified Florist credential for designers who live and work in California. Certain state certifications may require you to complete a certification program and pass an exam.
On a national level, you can earn the Certified Floral Designer credential from the American Institute of Floral Designers. This certification is beneficial for florists who might move to another state, as it is recognized across the Unites States. Earning national certification involves meeting one of five approved pathways to certification; taking and passing a written test online; and attending a two-day professional evaluation. During the evaluation, applicants undergo a practical test demonstrating the ability to put together specific arrangements. Designs are graded by the certifying committee, and if you pass, you are awarded certification.
2016 Salary Information for Floral Designers
Floral designers earned a median annual salary of $25,850 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, floral designers earned a 25th percentile salary of $21,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $31,970, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 55,000 people were employed in the U.S. as floral designers.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Floral Designer
- American Institute of Floral Designers: Become a CFD and AIFD
- California State Floral Association: California Certified Florist (CCF)
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Floral Designers
- Career Trend: Floral Designers