Become a Floral Designer

What Does it Take To Become a Floral Designer?

This is a question often asked by those thinking of a career change. It is a very valid question –  you don’t want to start a new career armed with the wrong information or attitude.

The most important thing to bear in mind is attitude.  Becoming a floral designer because it is a job/career you think you would enjoy and are capable of will not guarantee success.  Every florist I have ever spoken to (and everything I have read) says that you need more than a good attitude to become a floral designer!  You even need more than love.

You need to be passionate:

  • About flowers
  • About helping people
  • About quality service

You also need to be dedicated and have empathy and understanding.

Flower Design Course or Apprenticeship?

I asked James Earley if his “Floral Design Training” came with any sort of certification or recognition for students at the end of the course, and if not, why not?

In other words is it necessary to get some form of official certification to become a floral designer?

His reply was:

“When setting out to do the course layout I thought long and hard about this decision.  I also spend a lot of time with people in the industry so took into account what they all felt as well as what I have strong feelings about.

In the end I decided that I wouldn’t give any formal recognition for a number of reasons.

First and foremost I realised that whenever I interview anyone I really don’t pay any attention to their formal qualifications.  All my interviews are done in the shop. I pay particular attention to their body language and the language they use when they talk and then – most importantly – I ask them to create an arrangement for me.

These have been my guidelines and have worked for me over a number of years.  My peers tell me a very similar story.

The second thing I soon realised is that by becoming a “registered” qualification I would be exposing myself to rules and regulations of whatever umbrella organisation I chose to represent.  That would tie my hands, and that of my students, and take away the individual flair so necessary to succeed in this business.

Plus there is another big factor and that is once you are past the basics the learning escalates – I really did not know where to end the course as there is no end to learning the art of floral design.”

Here’s what other experts say on the need or not of a formal qualification to become a floral designer:

Marianne who started working in a flower shop as the book-keeper, then learnt how to do rose bowls before graduating to weddings and then finally bought the business.

“I hire inexperienced people because I prefer to teach them myself. Not all schools teach you properly. I had one part-timer who did a 9 month course that cost her over $10,000.00.  It was a real pity that she had spent so much as she had some pretty bad habits which I had to unteach her.  She said I taught her more than that course ever did. My advice to anyone starting out is to get a job in a flower shop and work up from there.”


I chose to graduate from two different design schools but must admit that I have learned more while being on the job and actually doing the work. having said that there are things you will learn from a reputable school that you won’t get anywhere else.

My advice to people is learn to ask the right questions and look and learn by what is going on around you and the industry in general.  Read magazines and books on the subject and watch other skilled practitioners working.

And anyone who thinks that they can learn and master the art of floral design overnight is sadly mistaken.  You are never going to get “it” overnight and you will never know everything.

In my 15 years in this industry I can honestly say that the really successful people are those who have a passion for the industry – loving what you do is not enough – passion is everything.”


A certification of some sort may get you through the initial selection and into an interview but will not guarantee you the position. You can read more about what other experts and novices alike say about becoming a floral designer b visiting any of the numerous forums and discussion groups on the Internet.

In addition to being able to arrange flowers you will need to learn to work unsupervised, fast and in a neat and tidy manner. The only way to get this sort of experience is by doing – it is not something that can be taught in books.

Click Here to Visit James Earley’s “Floral Design Training” Official Website.

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