A florist uses flowers to create floral arrangements in a variety of sizes and styles for many different occasions. A career as a florist can be fun, fulfilling and lucrative. A successful florist, however, must possess strong design skills as well as a comprehensive knowledge of flower types and care. These qualities are obtained and developed through good training. There are many ways to train to be a florist.
Secure employment at a flower shop where you can obtain on-the-job training. Many florists begin their careers as flower shop employees responsible for tasks such as serving customers, taking orders, and processing and prepping flowers for use in arrangements. While gaining knowledge about flowers, flower care and the floral industry in general, they may practice and develop their design skills under the tutelage of the shop's floral designer or owner until they have the knowledge and skills to become florists.
Attend a floral design school. Floral design schools instruct students in basic, intermediate and advanced levels of floral design, as well as in specialised types of floral design, such as wedding and holiday arrangements. In addition, floral design schools provide students with knowledge of the many different flower types and their care. These schools issue certificates to their graduating students upon the completion of a set program; the certificates indicate students' preparedness to work as professional florists.
Enrol in floral design classes in your community. Many communities offer floral design classes through their departments of recreation or adult education programs. These may be one-time classes or they may last for several weeks. Typically, individual floral design classes focus on one element or level of floral design, such as wedding design or intermediate-level design.
Take college courses in floral design. Numerous community colleges and four-year universities offer classes in floral design, floristry or related disciplines, such as horticulture. These classes last for one academic quarter or semester and typically focus on one element or level of floral design. They may be open to anyone or be part of an academic program in design, floristry or horticulture that leads to a degree.
Participate in a distance-learning floral design program via the internet. Online floral design programs teach students through a synthesis of educational text, photographs and illustrations, and assignments, which consist of step-by-step instructions for assembling different types of floral arrangements. Most distance-learning floral design programs also provide students with the opportunity to communicate with instructors for additional help and guidance.
Read educational books. Educational books about flowers and floral design can be a valuable component to any florist's training. They can provide aspiring florists with a good understanding of the materials with which she will be working, as well as with ideas for appealing designs.
Keep in mind that floral design schools, community-sponsored classes, college courses and distance learning programs will all cost money, while on-the-job training at a flower shop takes place while you earn money by working. The tuition costs and fees for enrolling in schools, classes and programs vary widely, and range from less than one hundred dollars for a single class to thousands of dollars for a lengthy program. Continue to read educational books after you have completed your training to become a florist. Books about flowers and floral design can provide established, working florists with up-to-date knowledge about flowers, flower varieties, and flower care, as well as the most inventive and effective design styles, trends and techniques.