If you love the look and smell of fresh flowers then becoming a florist may be the right career choice for you! A florist is a person who grows flowers and is a retailer of flowers, as well as ornamental plants. Florists receive the majority of their business for significant events such as weddings, funerals, graduations, anniversaries and parties. Their business is also much sought after for holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Florists know all about flowers and know how to create beautiful bouquets that can communicate the message that the customer is wishing to convey to the recipient of the flowers.
There are plenty of floral schools throughout the country where florists-to-be can learn the trade. Online courses are an option as are video courses. There is more than one route that can be taken to train to become a florist. In fact there is no special license to enter this occupation. However taking formal training at a floral school and/or learning through an apprenticeship with an experienced and qualified florist can put you on the right track to being successful in this area.
There is more than one way to become certified as a florist. There are plenty of programs that provide certification to eligible candidates. For example the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) has an evaluation process that can lead to the designation of certified floral designer (CFD). There are also numerous states such as Arkansas, California, Michigan, Minnesota and Texas that have their own certification processes. If you reside in any of these states then you should find out what they expect before you do anything else.
To pass your certification examinations the AIFD deems it a necessity for students to complete one of five learning pathways. These pathways include experience, coursework, online training or a combination of a few of these. There again this tends to vary from state to state and you therefore should do your research.
Once you have secured worked as a florist you will need to think about the continuing education (CE) requirements that all florists in the nation must comply with. You are expected to renew your membership with the AIFD on a yearly basis. In order to do this you must fulfill the CE coursework and then pay your annual dues. What this does is it maintains your membership status in the certification program.
Be aware that while it is wise to become certified as a florist as soon as possible, it is not a requirement for employment. Only you can decide when the time is right for you. If you are currently apprenticing with an experienced florist or have started your own business in your neighborhood then you may be able to wait for a while- just make sure that you do not wait indefinitely!
Online continuing education courses for florists can teach you some of the important elements you need to know while taking courses at a floral school or community college can teach you even more. Some examples of course subjects include sympathy arrangements and European floral design.