JOB PROFILE: Florist
Qualifications and courses
There are no specific academic qualifications for this career. Candidates can either find work and train on the job or study at college prior to securing employment. Those seeking work in a florist shop should demonstrate an interest in floristry, possibly through joining a local flower arranging club or doing a course in flower arranging.
Available qualifications include the BTEC Certificate in Floristry (Levels 2–3) and the City & Guilds Diploma in Floristry (Levels 2–3). Those who are currently working at a florist shop could study for the City & Guilds Diploma in Work-based Floristry (Levels 2–3). The entry requirements for these courses vary, however GCSE/National 5 passes in subjects such as English, Maths and Art would be beneficial. Any other relevant experience and skills might be taken into account so work experience in a florist shop would be valuable.
Another option is the Apprenticeship in Floristry which is available at both Intermediate and Advanced Levels. With experience, you could work towards the City & Guilds Level 4 Higher Diploma in Floristry (ICSF) or Level 5 Master Diploma in Professional Floristry (NDSF). Foundation degrees and degrees in floristry are also a possibility. If you are working in floristry at management level you can take the Master Diploma in Professional Floristry.
What the work involves
Florists combine creativity with knowledge of plants and flowers to design and create floral displays that are then sold in shops and/or on market stalls.
You will be responsible for ordering and caring for the plants and flowers, aiding customers in choosing flowers suitable for specific occasions and creating floral displays. You may also be required to deliver flowers to customers and set up displays at events.
You will be expected to handle money, complete regular stocktakes and help with the day to day running of the business.
Type of person suited to this work
You will need to be extremely creative, with an understanding of shape, colour and design. As a great deal of this job is hands-on, you must be dexterous.
A strong knowledge of plants and flowers and the care required for them is essential, along with a desire to expand your knowledge. You should be patient, hold good customer service skills and be sensitive towards a clients needs.
You will be expected to have brilliant telephone communication skills and the ability to work within tight deadlines, particularly if you have to fulfil last-minute or online orders. Administration and sales skills are also important.
Florists usually work inside in a shop environment. Those who work on a floristry stall will spend most of their time outdoors. This job involves a great deal of standing at the work bench/counter.
Working hours usually vary between 35 and 40 hours per week, which is likely to include weekends, and shop opening hours are normally 9am to 5pm. Some travel may be required when making deliveries so a driving licence might be needed.
Some shops provide uniforms or aprons. This job will not be suitable for people who suffer from pollen allergies.
Those with experience may progress to a managerial role. Once you have the required skills, there is also the possibility of becoming self-employed and opening your own business.
Another progression option is to work as a freelance florist for a variety of businesses on a contract basis.
You could also teach floristry or become a professional demonstrator.
You can combine creativity, skill and knowledge to create floral displays.
You will be on your feet for a great deal of time and those who work on florist market stalls will be outdoors in all weathers.
Every day will be different as you will work with a wide range of customers for a variety of events.
Earnings vary depending on location and employer.
At the start of their career, a florist usually receives the National Minimum Wage. As you gain experience, you can expect your salary to increase to £16,000–£19,000 a year.
Those employed in a managerial role can achieve up to £25,000.
Content generously provided by Indigo Trotman.