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Chapter 22 Careers and continuing education.

Floriculture, or the floral industry, offers a variety of rewarding and profitable careers. As with other industries today, there is an increasing need for trained professionals. Those who have business skills, horticultural knowledge, and communication or "people" skills are in demand by employers throughout the floral industry.

Segments of the floral industry include the retail florist, the wholesale florist, and the grower. Some of the more familiar traditional positions include the floral designer, the wholesale salesperson, and the crop production supervisor. Various newer occupations have developed in recent years, within each area of the industry, such as commentators, brokers, and genetic engineers (see Figure 22-1). Floriculture offers many specialized occupations that require various levels of education and experience.

Because this book is geared to design, the emphasis on careers in this chapter is on on-the-job opportunities for the floral designer. A brief overview of other floral industry occupations, those at the retail, wholesale, and grower levels, is given as well.

The success of any career may be strengthened through continuing education. In the floral industry, as with other industries, there are professional and trade associations, trade publications, educational workshops and seminars, certification and training programs, and college education programs. All of these are designed to increase the knowledge and skills of an individual, as well as improve the profession. To become a talented professional in any occupation, it is important to make a lifelong commitment to learning.


Career Options for the Qualified Professional Floral Designer

In the retail flower industry, there are three areas of employment opportunity for a floral designer: shop owner, shop manager, and shop employee (see Figure 22-2). The intellectual understanding of floral design principles and techniques and developing practical working skills as a designer are essential masteries for the individual who chooses professional floral design as a career goal. Once an individual moves beyond the design responsibility into shop management or ownership, marketing, business management, and people skills become mandatory.


Each area of opportunity for a professional floral designer requires different credentials. Starting with a solid base of knowledge in the principles and techniques of floral design gives the foundation for skill development. Then, experience is the pivotal factor that opens opportunity.

In gathering working experience, it is a good idea to choose an employer carefully. Two types of florists make up the business population-the professional and the hobbyist. The career-oriented floral designer needs to connect with a professional flower shop or floral operation. In this work environment, the exposure to the world of floral design plus the requirements for profitable performance provide the caliber of experience that molds talent.

Opportunities in a Full-Service, Professional Flower Shop

Depending on the size of the business, a flower shop requires design skills in three areas: general design work, production design work, and head or managing design.

The major opportunity for employment as a floral designer is with a full-service flower shop, serving customers with a complete range of creative design work. Many designers prefer this work environment. It allows them to express their creativity through all types of designing from the everyday hospital design to large wedding and party designs.

A small flower shop needs at least one qualified floral designer, while a larger flower shop might employ two or three designers. A very large operation requires a head or managing designer who supervises a team of five to twenty floral designers. Most full-service flower shops employing more than three designers require a design manager to manage the flow of design work and the productivity of the designers.

Some larger flower shops often employ specialized designers who focus on one type of work. A shop that experiences a large number of weddings might have one designer who has expertise creating flowers for the wedding party, and another designer who is skilled in wedding reception decorations. In some shops, designated employees design casket sprays and other types of funeral work. The party florist often has a designer talented in planning parties and decorations. Once the party is planned and design prototypes are prepared, a team of designers prepares the decorations. Flower shops that do important volume in silk flower and dried designs often have at least one designer who specializes in this work.

Some floral organizations with multiple shops have a central design location. All designs for delivery are created in the central design location rather than at the individual stores. A central design facility uses a team of designers supervised by a design manager. This method for filling orders enables a florist to maximize production and control the flow and use of merchandise.

Larger flower operations also tend to employ specialized designers who concentrate on one or perhaps two areas of design work. For example, one designer makes up vases of roses all day. Another designer arranges creative plant gardens. Still another arranges spring flower gardens with an array of colorful seasonal blossoms. This specialization enables the shop to produce designs more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Smaller flower shops need a designer who can make basic, everyday arrangements and is efficient in all areas of design creativity. In this shop environment, most designs are one of a kind. This approach to floral design is creatively rewarding for many designers.

Opportunities in a Limited-Service Flower Shop

The philosophy of the limited-service shop is to focus on areas of design in which the business can make a reasonable profit. In general, this type of operation usually avoids labor-intensive work like weddings, funerals, parties, and decorations. Designers who work in a limited-service retailing environment must be happy and creatively fulfilled with a restricted opportunity to use their skills. For some floral designers, this limited approach to design is desirable. It often eliminates the creative and production pressure associated with catering to special events.

Opportunities in a Floral Department

The floral department in a modern supermarket or mass merchandiser usually combines on-site design work with merchandising of flowers and plants. The on-site florist creates custom designs or "custom work," makes up fresh flower designs for the refrigerator presentation, maintains the displays of flowers available by the stem and in assorted bouquets, and keeps the displays of flowering and foliage plants attractive.

Some floral departments offer a complete selection of designs for hospitals, sympathy, weddings, and parties. Other floral departments limit design work to general designs appropriate for hospitals, birthdays, anniversaries, and everyday celebrations. Floral departments that service the complete flower needs of customers often employ several designers.

Most supermarkets and mass merchandisers work from a central design location or distribution center where bouquets of fresh flowers are packaged and standard designs are created in production-line design. These products, loose fresh flowers, and plants are delivered to stores from this distribution center.

Working in central design at a distribution center is another job opportunity with supermarkets and mass merchandisers. In a well-managed distribution facility, designers do production-line design based on a work plan to achieve maximum efficiency for controlling both materials and labor. Often, production-line designers in a distribution facility create hundreds of the same design (see Figure 22-3).

Opportunities with a Wholesaler

The more aggressive floral wholesale house uses a qualified floral designer to create designs to sell to florists, gift stores, mass merchandisers, and other retailers. Some wholesalers concentrate on designs with silk flowers and dried plant materials. Other wholesalers also create fresh flower designs for their customers. Most wholesale houses that carry Christmas items use a designer to show prospective customers new ideas for creating designs with the seasonal merchandise.

Many retailers find they cannot afford to carry a complete line of silk flowers for creating silk designs. These florists find buying silk designs from their wholesaler is a more profitable way to inventory this type of merchandise. This developing trend for selling premade designs means that many wholesalers will be employing professional floral designers.


Most of the design opportunities available at wholesale houses require outstanding skills in product presentation and display. Besides creating designs for resale, floral designers in this work environment must plan, install, and maintain displays for the entire merchandise line.

Some wholesale houses present design schools and design classes for their customers. Normally students pay to attend these classes, and so the instructor must be a qualified teacher-designer. The designer with creative skills, teaching skills, and the ability to communicate effectively is a desirable candidate for working in a wholesale house.

Opportunities with a Manufacturer or Floral Supplier

Those manufacturers and suppliers who cater to the floral industry often employ full-time, in-house floral designers, or contract for these creative services. The designer's responsibilities in this work environment often include product development as well as floral design. To function in product development, a designer must have extensive experience in floral design plus have well-developed creative skills. The ability to express new ideas in products is an essential skill. In addition, in-depth knowledge of the floral industry and trends in products, and insight about opportunities for new product development are prerequisites.


Floral designers who work with manufacturers and floral suppliers must have keen product-presentation skills. Most of the opportunities in this area of employment require experience in presenting products, designing display booths for conventions, and demonstrating products (see Figure 22-4).

Opportunities for the Freelance Floral Designer

There is an expanding need for freelance floral designers. Many flower shops do not maintain a full staff of employees. Instead, they depend on freelance designers for peak periods of business and special events. Wholesale houses that stage open houses often use freelance designers. In every area of employment opportunity already discussed, freelance designers are used either exclusively or to supplement the in-house staff.

Being a freelance designer requires more skill and creative focus than working full time in one business. A freelancer is expected to be knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of professional floral design. Since businesses hire freelance designers for peak periods and specific assignments, they are expected to be extremely productive. Frequently, the work environment is demanding.

Other Career Opportunities within the Floral Industry

In addition to opportunities for the floral designer, there are numerous other occupations at the retail, wholesale, and grower levels within the floral industry (see Figure 22-5). Other opportunities, generally requiring advanced education and experience, include being a commentator, a writer or an editor for trade publications, a teacher, and a researcher.

The wholesale florist and greenhouse producer also offer career opportunities. Successful individuals in floriculture are those who have experience and knowledge in all aspects of the floral industry. A combination of education and on-the-job training and experience at all levels of the industry will provide you invaluable information to make an informed decision about pursuing a career in the floral industry.

Retail Florist

Positions available at the retail florist include owner/manager, floral designer, assistant designer, salesperson, delivery personnel, interior landscaping and maintenance personnel, and cut flower processor. (For an in-depth look at the retail shop, including employee descriptions and responsibilities, see Chapter 21.)


Most retail floral shops are owner managed, while larger stores and franchise operations have positions available in many management areas, including purchasing, design and display, financial management, market research, sales management, and advertising.


Before becoming an owner or manager of a retail florist, receiving a formal education with emphasis in horticulture or floriculture is highly recommended. Courses in business and communication, as well as art and design, will also prove to be beneficial. In addition, attending a floral design school will instill invaluable knowledge and skills. Along with education and design experience, you must obtain training and experience by working for several years in a retail florist shop. Experience in all segments--greenhouse, retail, and wholesale--is recommended for a working knowledge of the industry. Education, experience, motivation, and hard work are all prerequisites to becoming a successful owner or manager at the retail level.

Floral Designer

As outlined earlier, many opportunities are available to qualified, professional floral designers in numerous capacities. Designers must be able to arrange a wide variety of designs, such as corsages, centerpieces, arrangements of all sizes and styles, wedding designs, funeral and sympathy designs, and various special-occasion and party designs. In a larger shop, the head floral designer may supervise or manage other designers and assistant designers.

Working in a successful retail floral shop for several years is necessary to become competent and confident in your design abilities and in satisfying customers. Attending a reputable design school is highly beneficial. In addition, knowledge and skills obtained in college courses in floriculture, art, design, communication, and business will prove invaluable in the work environment of a designer.


The sales personnel at the retail level are responsible for taking telephone orders from customers and helping in-store customers with their purchases. Knowledge of flowers and plants is necessary, as well as skills in communications. The sales staff at a retail shop plays a vital role in the success of the business, for they are the people who are in contact with the public and must help to satisfy customers and maintain friendly relations with those who purchase their products.

A successful salesperson will benefit from some vocational or college education, as well as experience gained while working in a retail shop.

Delivery Personnel

The delivery staff at a retail shop is responsible for delivering flowers and plants to the customers. A delivery person is a goodwill ambassador, meaning he or she plays a vital role at the floral shop, acting as its representative. Often the delivery person is the only contact a customer may have with a flower shop. The impression the delivery person makes must be friendly and professional. Delivery personnel may frequently be required to help set up floral arrangements and background displays at weddings, parties, and other special events.

Delivery personnel are also responsible for picking up flowers, plants, and other merchandise from wholesalers, growers, airports, or other shipping stations. Drivers must have a valid driver's license, know how to drive courteously, and have a good knowledge of the area.

Interior Landscaping and Maintenance Personnel

Some flower shops, especially larger retail operations, may offer services in interior landscaping. An individual who has gained adequate experience and training in the use and care of plants may become an interior landscape designer and consultant.

A college education in horticulture is recommended for those interested in pursuing a career in interior landscaping. Other courses, such as salesmanship, business, art, and design, will prove helpful.

Cut Flower Processor

Large retail operations may employ individuals whose main role is to care for the incoming shipments of cut flowers, foliages, and live plants, while at smaller floral shops, all employees are generally responsible for the care and handling of perishable merchandise. Because flowers and greenery are generally shipped in boxes or wrapped in paper, without water, it is vital that boxes and packages be opened and flowers and greens processed as quickly as possible. This activity involves recutting flower stems, placing flowers in buckets of preservative solution, and placing the buckets of flowers in the coolers. Processors help to maintain the highest quality of the flowers for resale to the final consumers. Processors also take care of potted plants and help the sales staff to prepare orders for delivery. Some experience and training in horticulture at a vocational or technical school is beneficial to a flower processor.

Wholesale Florist/Broker

The employment opportunities at the wholesale florist, like the retail florist, are varied (see Figure 22-6). They include owner/manager, stock buyer and control personnel, salesperson, delivery personnel, and cut flower processor. As mentioned earlier, many wholesale houses employ floral designers to display dried and silk merchandise and to arrange fresh and everlasting designs to distribute to retail florists.


Small wholesale houses are often owner managed, while larger companies generally have positions available in many management areas, including financial management, market research, sales management, and advertising. Generally, many years of experience in all segments of the floral industry, combined with higher education, motivation, and hard work, are prerequisites to becoming a successful owner or manager at the wholesale level (see Figure 22-7).


Stock Buyer and Control Personnel

The stock buyer at the wholesale house spends a great deal of time each day on the computer and telephone contacting commercial greenhouses and floral manufacturers from whom flowers and supplies are purchased. Stock buyers are responsible for maintaining a constant supply of cut flowers, cut foliage, plants, containers, and design materials and accessories for their customers. Buyers must locate and purchase high-quality merchandise for the lowest possible prices from growers and manufacturers throughout the world.


As shipments of merchandise are received at the wholesale house, buyers and control personnel inspect each shipment for quality, quantity, and types of flowers and merchandise, making sure the merchandise is the same as the products that were offered and purchased. Most wholesale operations, whether large or small, rely on computer systems to record purchases and sales transactions of the business.

To become a stock buyer at the wholesale level requires several years of experience working at a wholesale operation. It is also helpful to have worked at the grower and retail levels. Work experience at a greenhouse and a retail operation will help a buyer gain the knowledge to order plant materials confidently from the growers, as well as the knowledge of how flowers and supplies are used at the retail level, in order to assist the retail customers. In addition to years of job experience, a successful buyer will benefit from seeking additional training in business, marketing, horticulture, and computers and from obtaining a degree at a technical school or college.


The sales personnel at the wholesale level are responsible for taking telephone orders from retailers, as well as helping walk-in retail customers and preparing these orders for delivery. The sales staff at the wholesale operation plays a vital role in the success of the business, for they are the people who must maintain contact and friendly relations with the retail customers who purchase their products.

A successful salesperson will benefit from experience at the retail level combined with some vocational or college education.

Delivery Personnel

The delivery staff at a wholesale operation is responsible for delivering flowers and merchandise to various retail customers and sometimes picking up merchandise directly from growers, manufacturers, airports, or other shipping stations. Drivers must have a valid driver's license for the types of vehicles they will be operating, which often include large and small trucks, large refrigerated vans and trucks, and tractors with semitrailers. At larger operations, the delivery staff is also responsible for working forklifts and organizing incoming shipments.

Cut Flower Processor

At wholesale operations, the staff responsible for caring for and handling the cut flowers, cut foliages, and live plants as shipments are received is a vital link in the success of the wholesale florist. Because flowers and greenery are generally shipped in boxes without water, it is imperative that boxes are opened and flowers and greens are processed as quickly as possible. This activity involves recutting flower stems, placing flowers in buckets of preservative solution, carrying out any specialty care techniques (such as placing flowers in bud-opening or coloring solutions), and then placing buckets of flowers in the refrigeration units. Processors help to maintain the highest quality of the live product for resale to retail customers. Processors also take care of potted plants and help the salespeople prepare orders for delivery to the retail customers. Some experience and training at a vocational or technical school in horticulture is beneficial to a flower processor.

Greenhouse Producer

At the grower levels of field or greenhouse, there are numerous job opportunities (see Figure 22-8). These include grower/crop manager, crop production foreman, greenhouse maintenance foreman, sales manager, and greenhouse worker.

Grower/Crop Manager

The grower/crop manager is responsible for the production practices necessary to grow a specific crop or manage a number of greenhouses. Growers and crop managers are specialists who have spent many years producing cut flowers, greenery, and potted plants. Managers are often responsible for training and overseeing other employees and managing crop production in general.

Many successful growers and crop managers have received training and education in horticulture along with years of experience working at the grower level.


Crop Production and Maintenance Foreman

A crop production foreman at a large greenhouse operation is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the growers and crop managers, overseeing crop scheduling, and maintaining the highest quality of flowers and plants. The maintenance foreman is in charge of the greenhouse facility. The crop production and the maintenance foreman work together to keep the greenhouses and crops in the best condition possible. Both individuals together generally maintain a staff of greenhouse workers.

Generally, foremen receive training and experience for many years working in a greenhouse. Also, successful foremen have a degree in horticulture from a university or technical school.

Marketing/Sales Manager

The sales manager works with the crop production foreman in selecting crops and timing the harvest to coordinate with various floral holidays. The sales manager is responsible for selling plants and flowers to various wholesalers and retailers. He or she oversees the storage and shipping of floral products to buyers. Often the sales manager coordinates a large sales staff.

A solid background in business administration, sales, and communication, as well as knowledge in horticulture, in addition to training and work experience at the grower level for several years, is necessary to becoming a successful sales manager.

Greenhouse Worker

A greenhouse worker is generally involved with all aspects of growing crops, such as propagating plants from cuttings and seed, preparing soil mixtures, watering, fertilizing, and caring for the plants until they are harvested at maturity. Maintenance of the greenhouse facilities may also be part of the job. Several years of training and experience will allow a greenhouse worker to move to a more advanced position within the greenhouse operation. A background in horticulture is extremely helpful for a position in working with plants.

Continuing Education

Within the floral industry, as with any industry, it is vital to keep current and continue with education--to strive for excellence in a profession--in order to be a successful professional in a chosen career. It is important to be open to new ideas, to improve yourself by learning new skills and gaining new knowledge. A successful professional invites learning and self-improvement.

The sole purpose of design knowledge is to challenge a designer to think and visualize creatively. Education enables a floral designer to unlock and express the full potential of his or her creativity. But creativity must have boundaries, requiring that knowledge be transferred into know-how and practical application. Unless a designer applies what he or she has learned and puts this knowledge to work every day in the designs produced, design education is meaningless.


Trade Associations

A trade association is an organization or group that is set up by individuals, merchants, or business firms for the unified promotion of their common interests. Generally a nonprofit corporation, a trade association assists the industry in educating its members and promoting its products and services in the marketplace.

In the floral industry, associations often meet specific needs, such as production, business, or design. Trade associations may also be geared to a specific segment of the industry, for example, growers and producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, designers, commentators, and educators. Although each trade association may have a different emphasis, all are interested in the sale and promotion of flowers and floral products, and attending industry meetings will help you stay up-to-date (see Figure 22-9).

Becoming a member of a trade organization involves some research. Each trade organization offers information packets and membership applications on request. As you learn more about each organization, it will become clear which associations will serve your particular needs and help the most in promoting the skills in your desired career.

Following are some of the well-known floral industry trade associations and organizations in which information and membership applications may be obtained.

American Institute of Floral Designers

The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) is the premier organization that accredits floral design as a profession. The purpose of AIFD is to establish high standards in professional floral design.

Membership in AIFD is stringent, often requiring several years to achieve. Applicants must demonstrate high professional ability. Any floral designer who meets the application qualifications can apply for AIFD accreditation. The application process requires a portfolio and demonstration of design skills before a membership panel. When a designer meets the uncompromising qualifications and is accepted into membership, the individual makes a commitment to uphold excellence in professional floral design. Those who earn the credentials of AIFD are rightfully respected and share a professional bond with the organization and its members.

AIFD offers extravagant regional and national symposiums. The organization has student chapters (SAIFD) at many college campuses, promoting professional floral design education to floriculture students. AIFD sponsors an Artist in Residence (AIR) program, providing educational workshops and programs to the student chapters.

American Institute of Floral Designers

720 Light Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21230-3816

(410) 752-3318 Fax: (410) 752-8295


Society of American Florists

Representing the needs and interests of the entire floral industry, the Society of American Florists (SAF) is a national trade association that provides members with updated information on all aspects of the industry (see Figure 22-10). It provides many services, including programs and workshops, helpful websites, publications, newsletters, and videotapes. It is involved in government relations, promoting the floral industry by lobbying for and against legislation affecting any segment of the industry. Sponsored by SAF, the Florist Information Committee (FIC) works to alleviate any negative press about the industry and its products and instead provides positive information to the public.

Society of American Florists

1601 Duke Street

Alexandria, Virginia 22341

(800) 336-4743

SAF member site

SAF consumer site

American Academy of Floriculture

The American Academy of Floriculture (AAF) is a division of the SAF. This organization is dedicated to service in the floral industry. Applicants must meet several high standards. Top qualifications include ten years of floral experience, industry service, and community service. Acceptance into AAF and earning its credentials is acknowledgment of professional leadership and excellence.

American Academy of Floriculture

c/o Society of American Florists

1601 Duke Street

Alexandria, Virginia 22314

(800) 336-4743


American Floral Marketing Council

The American Floral Marketing Council (AFMC) is a branch of the SAF that promotes the sale of flowers, plants, and floral products throughout the year for "nonoccasion" days and reasons. The entire floral industry benefits from AFMC promotions and advertising that encourage awareness of the importance of flowers and plants and supports flower sales throughout the year.

American Floral Marketing Council

c/o Society of American Florists

1601 Duke Street

Alexandria, Virginia 22314

(800) 336-4743

Professional Floral Commentators International

Professional Floral Commentators International (PFCI), a division of the SAF, was established to promote communication and understanding within all segments of the floral industry. PFCI is an organization of industry people who want to continually gain industry knowledge, commentate at industry functions, and improve their oral skills. This organization helps educate industry members and consumers about the care and handling of flowers and plants, and promotes education about flowers and floral products. It promotes professionalism in commentating at all floral events and introduces new and talented commentators to the floral industry. The credentials of PFCI represent high accomplishment in professional floral commentating. Applicants must complete several rigorous requirements.

Professional Floral Commentators International

c/o Society of American Florists

1601 Duke Street

Alexandria, Virginia 22314

(800) 336-4743

Allied and State Florists' Associations

Allied florists' associations and state florists' associations are groups of people that serve as a support system for the floral industry in a region or state. Including growers, wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers of floral products, members of florists' associations are devoted to the support and improvement of floral business. Associations provide educational programs, newsletters, and conventions, helping to keep their members educated and informed of current trends and floral industry events.

Trade Publications

Trade journals, magazines, and supplements offer information of interest to all segments of the floral industry on a weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly basis. These publications offer information on business, design, care and handling, industry changes and updates, new products and sources, classified ads, and more. Some are free to members of certain organizations; most are available to floral students at a discounted subscription rate.

Following is an alphabetical listing of the well-known trade journals, magazines, and supplements that are particularly beneficial to florists.

California Grower

Published monthly

P.O. Box 370

Carpinteria, CA 93014

(805) 684-6581

The Cut Flower Quarterly

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers

P.O. Box 268

Oberlin, OH 44074

(440) 774-2887

Dateline: Washington

Published twenty-one times a year

Society of American Florists

1601 Duke Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

(800) 336-4743

FloraCulture International

P.O. Box 9

335 N. River Street

Batavia, IL 60510

(630) 208-9350

Floral & Nursery Times

Published twice monthly

P.O. Box 8470

Northfield, IL 60093

Floral Management

Published monthly

Society of American Florists

1601 Duke Street

Alexandria, VA 22314

(800) 336-4743

Fax: 703-836-8705

Floral Mass Marketing

205 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1040

Chicago, IL 60606

(800) 732-4581

Florist & Grower

1592 Kingston Way

Eugene, OR 97401

(541) 686-9561

Florist Magazine and Business Beat

Published monthly

Florists' Transworld Delivery Association (FTD)

33031 Schoolcraft Road

Livonia, MI 48150

(800) 383-4383

Florists' Review

Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.

P.O. Box 4368

3641 SW Plass

Topeka, KS 66604

(800) 367-4708

Flower News

205 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1040

Chicago, IL 60606

(800) 732-4581

Flowers &

Published monthly


11444 W. Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90064

(800) 321-2654

Flowers and Profits

Published monthly

The McManus Group, Inc.

116 East Dewey Avenue

Sapulpa, OK 74066

(800) 555-9185

Gift Basket Review

815 Haines Street

Jacksonville, FL 32206

(904) 634-1902

Greenhouse Grower

37733 Euclid Avenue

Willoughby, OH 44094

(440) 942-2000

Greenhouse Manager

120 St. Louis Avenue

Fort Worth, TX 76104

(817) 882-4120

Green Profit

P.O. Box 9

335 N. River Street

Batavia, IL 60510

(630) 208-9350


P.O. Box 9

335 N. River Street

Batavia, IL 60510

(630) 208-9350

Nursery News

205 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1040

Chicago, IL 60606

(800) 732-4581

Professional Floral Designer

Published six times a year

American Floral Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 12309

3737 N.W. 34th

Oklahoma City, OK 73157

(800) 456-7890

The Retail Florist and Floral Finance

American Floral Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 12309

3737 N.W. 34th

Oklahoma City, OK 73157

(800) 456-7890

Roses, Inc.

Published monthly

P.O. Box 99

1152 Haslett Road

Haslett, MI 48840

(517) 339-9544

Super Floral

10901 West 84th Terrace

Lenexa, KS 66214

(913) 438-8700

Educational Programs and Floral Design Schools

Design programs and workshops are presented every month in various parts of the country. These programs are organized and promoted by the wire services, industry associations, wholesale houses, and private groups. A professional floral designer expands creative skills by being exposed to other floral designers. Attending design programs is an excellent way to see outstanding design talent and accumulate a reservoir of design ideas.

Floral design schools across the country offer a variety of educational courses (see Figure 22-11). Even if you have some experience working in a floral shop, the knowledge and skills gained at one of these schools is beneficial. Courses last from one day to several weeks or months. Basic floral design, as well as specialized subjects such as wedding, sympathy, contemporary, or Japanese design, are offered year-round at various schools. Because tuition and amenities vary, it is important to investigate a floral design school before attending and paying fees. Recommendations from former students or word-of-mouth is the best advertisement for a school.


College Education/Certification Programs

The floral industry depends on continuing research and higher education for advancement. There are many career options that contribute directly and indirectly to the growth and success of the entire industry, although they are not directly related to the production, distribution, or sale of flowers and plants. Research in plant propagation and postharvest physiology of cut flowers are examples of these career options. Many colleges and universities provide undergraduate and graduate programs in horticulture and floriculture. These programs lead to opportunities in teaching, research, government, and extension work.

A list of colleges, universities, and technical schools offering degrees and certification programs may be obtained by writing to the Society of American Florists.


The floral industry offers numerous exciting and rewarding career options. In today's market, there is an increasing need for trained, educated individuals. Obtaining knowledge and skills in business, floriculture, and communication will provide a solid base in becoming a competent professional.

Formal training and education can be augmented and strengthened through continuing-education programs, professional associations, and trade publications. The floral designer needs to keep up-to-date with trends and design styles. By reading industry publications, attending design programs, and interacting with other designers, a professional floral designer can keep expanding his or her knowledge about professional floral design.

Terms to Increase Your Understanding

allied florists' association

American Academy of Floriculture (AAF)

American Floral Marketing Council (AFMC)

American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD)



custom design/service

floral designer

floral industry


freelance floral designer



limited-service shop

Professional Floral ommentators International (PFCI)

retail florist/retailer

Society of American Florists (SAF)

specialized designer

state florists' association

trade association

trade publication

wholesale florist/wholesaler

Test Your Knowledge

1. What are the opportunities for a professional floral designer?

2. What are the three areas in which design skills are required in the full-service, professional flower shop?

3. Why does a large flower shop prefer specialized designers?

4. What are the advantages for a designer in a limited-service flower shop?

5. How does a wholesaler use a professional floral designer?

6. What career opportunities are available within the floral industry?

7. Why is continuing education important in floral design?

8. Name some of the industry associations and trade publications.

Related Activities

1. Visit a full-service flower shop, a limited-service flower shop, and a floral department in a supermarket. List the advantages and disadvantages you observe for a career opportunity in each.

2. Look through a recent industry publication that includes design work. Pick out six different designs and identify how studying these compositions improves your floral design knoweldge.

3. By appointment, visit a grower or wholesale operation and learn about the different employee responsibilities. Compare the various job positions at these operations.

4. Attend a design program, workshop, or convention. Write a short report about what you have learned.
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Title Annotation:Section 5 The Floral Industry
Author:Hunter, Norah T.
Publication:The Art of Floral Design, 2nd ed.
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Previous Article:Chapter 21 The retail flower shop.
Next Article:Appendix A Flowers.

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