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
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
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.
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
Entry Routes and Training
An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article
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.
Assistants in Florists' shops could progress to managerial posts. Qualified and experienced Florists could progress by starting their own business or teaching floristry.
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.
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.
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.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
Skills for land-based and environmental industries
Address: Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire CV8 2LG
Tel: 02476 696996
City & Guilds Land Based Services
Address: Building 500, Abbey Park, Stareton, Warwickshire CV8 2LY
Tel: 02476 857300
Retail, fashion and hospitality industries
Tel: 020 8340 3366
Tel: 0114 2270500
Horticultural Correspondence College (HCC)
Address: Fiveways House, Westwells Road, Hawthorn, Corsham SN13 9RG
Tel: 01225 816700
Royal Society of Biology
Address: Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London WC1N 2JU
Tel: 020 7685 2550
Institute of Horticulture (IoH)
Tel: 01992 707025
British Florist Association (BFA)
Address: PO Box 674, Wigan, Lancashire WN1 9LL
Tel: 0844 8007299
Flowers and Plants Association
Address: 68 First Avenue, London SW14 8SR
Tel: 020 8939 6472
Tel: 0845 7078007