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Job Photographs

  • A woman is standing at a bench, putting finishing touches to a bouquet of flowers.

    Florists design and put together floral displays.

  • A woman is standing behind the counter of a shop.  She is holding a phone and writing something down on a notepad.

    Taking a phone order for flowers to be delivered.

  • A woman is putting a display of flowers into the boot of a red car.

    Preparing to deliver flowers to a local address.

  • A florist is standing behind the counter in a shop.  A lady customer is the other side of the counter.  The florist is putting something into a large paper bag, and there is a pot of lavender beside the bag.  The customer has her purse open and is about to take something out of it.

    Serving a customer with some flowering plants.

  • A woman is standing behind the counter in a shop.  She is using a laptop computer.

    Using a computer system to arrange a delivery of flowers in another town.

  • A woman is standing by a sink, with a whiteboard on the wall behind her.  She is making up a small bouquet of white roses.

    Making up a bridal bouquet.

  • A woman is putting flowers in a large vase in a shop display.

    Arranging flowers and plants in the shop.

  • A close-up of someone threading some florist's wire through the stem of a tiny white rosebud.

    Making a corsage (a flower or bunch of tiny flowers, usually worn at the shoulder or round the wrist). This is fine and delicate work.

  • Florist

Florist

Introduction

Florists use creativity and knowledge of plants and flowers to design and assemble floral displays. Florists sell flowers, plants and displays to the general public, businesses and event organisers.

Video: - Denise: Florist

Work Activities

As a Florist, you will sell flowers and plants to the public and make up floral displays to order. Most Florists are involved in both selling and making displays, though in some larger shops you may specialise in one particular area.

Your duties will usually include:

  • ordering, unpacking and caring for flowers and plants
  • making up bouquets and arrangements based on their own knowledge, ideas, and design books to meet customer requirements
  • helping customers to choose suitable designs, flowers and plants for different occasions
  • setting up displays at conferences or exhibitions
  • delivering displays or arrangements to homes, offices and event venues
  • maintaining a sufficient supply of fresh flowers, foliages, plants and sundry items using stock-taking procedures
  • tidying displays, sweeping the shop floor and washing all containers used

You'll take orders over the counter, by telephone, or online. Floristry businesses are often linked together by large 'relay' companies who organise flowers to be made up and delivered by a local Florist in their network, no matter where the flowers are ordered.

As well as selling flowers, you'll advise customers on general plant care. You will need to develop an great knowledge of your flowers and plants, including the seasonal availability of flowers and foliages. Caring for flowers and plants to keep them in the best condition and prolong their life will be an important part of your job, so you must have knowledge of the structure and needs of different flowers and plants.

Other duties includes conditioning fresh flowers and foliages by cutting stems, removing damaged flowers and leaves, placing flowers and plants in water and checking for pests.

As a Florist, an important part of your job will be to prepare and wire flowers to produce formal displays. These could be sprays, posies, wedding bouquets and funeral wreaths. To create displays, you'll use a range of tools including knives, scissors, secateurs, support wire, and tape. Displays can be arranged in different containers such as pots, vases and baskets, using foam, ribbon and other decorative accessories. You might also use dried or artificial fabric flowers.

Some Florists specialise in floral decorating for corporate events and similar occasions. You might also be involved in contract work, supplying fresh flowers and plants to offices, hotels and official buildings on a regular basis.

As a Florist who runs your own shop, there will be additional duties such as staff management, administration and accounting.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Florist, you will need:

  • good customer service skills
  • a good telephone manner for taking and giving details of orders
  • the ability to use colours and shapes creatively
  • an interest in buying and selling
  • number skills
  • the stamina to work in a shop all day, sometimes lifting and carrying vases full of flowers

If you have to make deliveries, you will need a driving licence.

This work might not be suitable for you if you have a severe pollen allergy.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £10,000 - £15,000
  • With experience: £15,500 - £16,500
  • Senior Florists earn £20,000

Some Florists are paid at an hourly rate, ranging from the national minimum wage to £10 an hour.

Hours of work

Florists usually work a standard full-time week, usually between 8 am and 6 pm, including Saturdays, with time off in the week in lieu. Part-time opportunities are also available.

There might be times when they are required to start work early or work additional hours, especially during peak times around Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

Where could I work?

Most shops are small businesses employing fewer than five people, although some are part of small chains. A few large hotels, event organisers and undertakers might employ Florists.

Opportunities for Florists occur in every town and city throughout the UK.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Florists to become self-employed retailers.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Training

If you would like some training, BTEC offer a level 2 diploma in floristry. This course has a range of units, which include:

  • undertaking basic floristry display techniques
  • identifying and using flowers and foliage
  • floristry interior design
  • presenting and servicing for retailing in the land based sector
  • planning, preparing and constructing floral arrangements
  • identifying and maintaining the condition of plants and planted designs

Other courses could be available in your area.

You might also have training in retail skills, customer service and business, with the opportunity to take a work-related qualification in these areas.

Progression

Assistants in Florists' shops could progress to managerial posts. Qualified and experienced Florists could progress by starting their own business or teaching floristry.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Relevant vocational qualifications are available, such as:

  • a BTEC level 3 - floristry
  • a City & Guilds level 2 or 3 - floristry

For entry to an BTEC or City & Guilds level 3 course, the usual entry requirement is 4/5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above

Some people enter floristry with qualifications such as A levels or a foundation degree.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Some entrants have developed relevant skills in retail or horticultural work.

You might be able to take an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship or an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Floristry.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Lantra

Skills for land-based and environmental industries

Address: Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire CV8 2LG

Tel: 02476 696996

Email: reception@lantra.co.uk

Website: www.lantra.co.uk

City & Guilds Land Based Services

Address: Building 500, Abbey Park, Stareton, Warwickshire CV8 2LY

Tel: 02476 857300

Email: information@cityandguilds.com

Website: www.nptc.org.uk

Jobsite UK

Retail, fashion and hospitality industries

Tel: 020 8340 3366

Email: help@jobsite.co.uk

Website: www.theappointment.co.uk

NOCN

Tel: 0114 2270500

Email: nocn@nocn.org.uk

Website: www.nocn.org.uk

Horticultural Correspondence College (HCC)

Address: Fiveways House, Westwells Road, Hawthorn, Corsham SN13 9RG

Tel: 01225 816700

Website: www.hccollege.co.uk

Royal Society of Biology

Address: Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London WC1N 2JU

Tel: 020 7685 2550

Email: info@rsb.org.uk

Website: www.societyofbiology.org

Institute of Horticulture (IoH)

Tel: 01992 707025

Email: ioh@horticulture.org.uk

Website: www.horticulture.org.uk

British Florist Association (BFA)

Address: PO Box 674, Wigan, Lancashire WN1 9LL

Tel: 0844 8007299

Email: info@britishfloristassociation.org

Website: www.britishfloristassociation.org

Flowers and Plants Association

Address: 68 First Avenue, London SW14 8SR

Tel: 020 8939 6472

Email: emily@fandpa.com

Website: www.flowersandplants.org.uk

Grow

Horticulture careers

Tel: 0845 7078007

Website: www.growcareers.info

College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)

Irish enquiries

Tel: 0800 0284291

Email: enquiries@cafre.ac.uk

Website: www.cafre.ac.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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