Florists manage shops, selling flowers. They also make and sell artistic arrangements of flowers and plants, such as bouquets and wreaths.
They are sometimes called floral designers.
You could be:
going to markets, often in the early morning, to choose and buy flowers or order from a supplier by phone
monitoring stock and work out what is required for customer orders
creating floral displays, wreaths and bouquets using flowers, plants, dried flowers, wire, tape and foam — based on either your own designs, from design books or customers' requirements
selling cut flowers, flower arrangements and perhaps pot plants or related products to customers
arranging delivery to customers
set up displays on site, for example at conferences, churches, weddings or in funeral parlours
advising customers on choosing flowers suitable for an occasion
keeping the shop clean and tidy
handling payments, and keeping accounts.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
whether you are freelance
the demand for the job.
The starting salary is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
As of 1 April 2021 the National Minimum Wage is £4.62 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £6.56 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £8.36 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage is £8.91 for workers aged 23 and over.
A florist with some experience and preferably some training could expect around £9.00 an hour or more.
You will be in a shop with adjoining workshop.
The workplace is usually cool to keep the flowers fresh.
You will travel to markets and perhaps deliver to the customers.
You will work early mornings and many Saturdays.
You might work longer shifts at busy periods, such as around Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
Part time work is common in floristry.
Floral displays can be heavy as well as fragile to lift and carry.
knowledge of how to look after and handle different flowers and plants
artistic flair and a good eye for shape and colour
gentle, skilful fingers for handling the delicate flowers
good communication skills with a wide range of people
number skills for dealing with money
a sympathetic manner when dealing with a bereavement
the ability to work quickly, carefully and to tight deadlines
business acumen, if you run your own business.
As a trainee florist, you would attend college in the evenings or on a day release basis while you work.
For those who already have a Level 2 qualification, you could go on to do the City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Floristry.
When you have experience, you can sit the City and Guilds Level 4 Higher Diploma in Floristry and the Level 5 Master Diploma in Professional Floristry. These qualifications would give you the skills required to run your own flower business.
Most vacancies are in small shops with an owner-manager. There are a few jobs with large chains and hotels, where you might progress to supervisor or manager.
The best chance of progression is to raise enough capital to open your own shop.
There are a few vacancies in teaching, full time or part time, in colleges of further education.