What Floral Designers Do
Floral designers arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays.
Most floral designers work in retail businesses, usually flower shops and grocery stores.
How to Become a Floral Designer
Most floral designers have a high school diploma or the equivalent and learn their skills on the job in a few months.
The median annual wage for floral designers was $28,040 in May 2019.
Employment of floral designers is projected to decline 20 percent from 2019 to 2029. Many floral designers work in the florist industry, in which overall employment is projected to decline.
Floral designers, also called florists, arrange live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery to make decorative displays. They also help customers select flowers and containers, ribbons, and other accessories.
Floral designers typically do the following:
- Buy flowers and other products from wholesalers and suppliers to ensure that an adequate supply meets customers’ needs
- Determine the type of arrangement desired, the occasion, and the date, time, and location for delivery
- Recommend plants or 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 specific purpose or multiple displays for special occasions, such as weddings or funerals. They use artistry and their knowledge of different types of blooms to choose appropriate flowers or plants for each occasion. Floral designers need to know when flowers and plants are in season and available.
Floral designers also need to know the properties of flowers and other plants. Some flowers, such as carnations, can last for many hours outside of water. Other flowers are 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 and average size of each flower and plant they sell. They may need to calculate the number of flowers that will fit into a particular vase or how many rose petals cover a space, such as the length of a walkway for a wedding procession.
Floral designers use their knowledge to recommend plants or flowers, greenery, and designs to customers. If the customer selects flowers, the designer uses that type of flower to arrange a visually appealing display. The designer may include items, such as stuffed animals or balloons, or use a decorative basket or vase when creating an arrangement.
Plants typically are showcased in attractive containers and are available for immediate sale. Although more complex floral displays must be ordered in advance, floral designers often create small bouquets or arrangements while customers wait. When they are responsible for multiple arrangements for a special occasion, such as a wedding or funeral, floral designers usually create and set up these decorations just before the event, then remove them afterward. Some floral designers work with event planners on a contract basis when creating arrangements for these types of occasions.
Floral designers also give customers instructions on how to care for flowers and plants, including what the ideal temperature is and how often the water should be changed. For plants or cut flowers, floral designers often provide plant or flower food as part of the sale.
Floral designers also order new flowers, greenery, and plants from suppliers. They process newly arrived shipments by stripping leaves that would be below the water line. Floral designers cut new flowers, transplant plants, mix plant or flower food solutions, fill containers with the food solutions, and sanitize workspaces. They keep most flowers and plants in cool display cases so that the products stay fresh and live longer.
Some floral designers have formal agreements with the managers of hotels and restaurants or the owners of office buildings and private homes to replace old flowers or plants with new ones on a recurring schedule—usually daily, weekly, or monthly—to keep areas looking fresh and appealing. They may work with interior designers in creating displays.
Floral designers who are self-employed or have their own shop also must do business tasks, such as advertising, pricing, inventory, and taxes. Some designers hire and supervise staff to help with these tasks.
Floral designers held about 51,800 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of floral designers were as follows:
|Food and beverage stores||11|
Floral designers in retail businesses serve walk-in customers as well as customers placing orders over the telephone, on the Internet, or through other florists. Some floral designers who work on a contract basis when creating arrangements for events, such as weddings, have to travel to event locations.
Many floral designers work full time, although their hours may vary with the work setting.
Independent shops are typically open during regular business hours. Floral departments inside grocery stores or other stores may stay open longer.
Floral designers are busier at certain times of the year, such as holidays, than at other times. Because freshly cut flowers are perishable, most orders cannot be completed too far in advance. Therefore, designers often work additional hours just before and during holidays. In addition, many part-time and seasonal opportunities are available around certain holidays, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of floral designers.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Craft and Fine Artists
Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition.
|See How to Become One||$48,760|
Fashion designers create clothing, accessories, and footwear.
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.
Interior designers make indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items.
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings.
For more information about becoming a Certified Floral Designer, visit
For more information about careers in floral design, visit
Related BLS articles
Career Outlook: “Careers for people who are creative“
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Floral Designers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/floral-designers.htm (visited ).