Is Becoming a Florist the Right Choice for You?


There are a few things to think about when considering a career change. You may have dreamt of becoming a chef when you were a child, but is it really a role you want to pursue in your adult life? Many jobs need to be assessed without rose-coloured glasses on, and you must examine your potential career change and decide if it really is for you.

One career change that many look at doing later in their lives is becoming a florist. Becoming a florist can be a huge career shift for a lot of people, but it also provides you with a unique role that can help you express your creativity. Let’s look at some of the main points to consider if you’re thinking of becoming a florist.

Personality traits

There are some personality traits that might work better than others in a flower shop. Some of these include:

  • Creativity – If you love all things creative and enjoy arts and crafts, floristry may be a good career choice for you. There’s certainly an art to flower arrangements, so being inventive and having a keen eye for flair and an original edge will put you ahead of the competition.
  • Colour coordination skillsAlong with creativity, understanding what colours work well and not so well together will help you be a great florist. Knowing and understanding the colour wheel will make your work so much better.
  • A love for flowers – It may be obvious, but having a love for flowers is necessary. If you already love flowers, you’re more inclined to create better arrangements and will be able to help customers much better thanks to your pre-acquired knowledge of flowers. You’ll be working with flowers every day, so having an interest in them is key.
  • Good people skills – Having a great set of communication skills will help you immensely. You may come across some customers that know what they want from you in their mind, but have no idea of the flower names or how to explain what they want very easily. Being able to work with others and show patience will help you to determine their needs.
  • Work well to deadlines –  Whether it’s Valentine’s day, a wedding, a funeral, or a last minute “I’m sorry!” bouquet, you need to be able to work to deadlines. Not doing so will mean arrangements don’t make it to the events in time, people will be let down by your services and you won’t have any clients left! You need to be able to get your work completed by set times and dates, otherwise your clients will find other florists who can cater to their needs better.

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Ability to work under stress

It can get very busy when you work at a florist shop, especially during the holidays and special events like weddings and funerals. You’ll have to do the following tasks (and more) and be fast at them too:

  • Answer phones
  • Take and deliver orders
  • Lift and move boxes around
  • Work the cash register
  • Attend to customers
  • Clean the shop.

When it comes to the flowers, it’s not just about arranging them to look fabulous. There’s so much more you have to do, such as handling them, preparing them, packaging them, delivering them, and installing them. Most importantly, you’ll need to take care of the flowers properly so they don’t wither and die. This may include watering them, fertilising them, and placing them in the right spot such as under the sun or in the shade, depending on the type of flower they are.

You also need to be able to work to deadlines, whether it’s Valentine’s day, a wedding, a funeral, or a last minute “I’m sorry!” bouquet. Not doing so will mean arrangements don’t make it to the events in time, people will be let down by your services and you won’t have any clients left! You need to be able to get your work completed by set times and dates, otherwise your clients will find other florists who can cater to their needs better.

If you can work under stress, then being a florist may be the ideal job for you.


If you really want to get ahead, the best option is to get qualified. There are a few qualifications that will help you to become a florist and these courses will help you gain the job you are after. You can either study whilst still in your current role or you may be able to gain work in a flower shop whilst studying. This way, you’ll be able to gain some hands-on experience in the industry whilst getting qualified. Some flower shops will also consider a traineeship or apprenticeship role for the right candidate, meaning you can earn all whilst getting your certification. It will be best to approach a flower shop in this instance and see what they may provide to potential employees.

Career progression

You can really get far in your career as a florist. You can start as a shop assistant, get qualified and be a florist, then take it even further by opening your own store. If you’re successful, you may even open a few stores in different areas. How and where you wish to take your career is up to you and there are plenty of opportunities available for new florists.

Do you want to become a self-employed florist?

Starting your own florist shop is exciting, but you’ll need to have the typical skills of an entrepreneur, which include being hardworking, persistent, and resilient.

Being a self-employed florist also means that you have to be flexible and available, since it’s not a 9-to-5 job. You’ll have to work long hours, including on weekends and special days such as Valentine’s Day, as well as during seasonal holidays. What’s more, you’ll need to get up early so you can choose the best selection of flowers for the day. You even have to maintain the flowers so they don’t die.

Additionally, you’ll have to drive around to pick up new flowers, deal with customers, attend events, and coordinate transportation and setup. You’ll also need to have a knowledge of the Internet and online marketing, considering that online sales is a strong factor in flower sales in today’s marketplace.

You should be prepared to work all through the year. So if you believe that you have what it takes, then being a self-employed florist may be the right career path for you.

Role responsibilities

When thinking about being a florist, you may think it’s as easy as looking after flowers, arranging stunning bouquets, and greeting customers. Although this is a part of being a florist, there’s a few other responsibilities that you will need to undertake.

  • Early morning – Depending on your location and where you get stock, you may be needing to wake up at very early hours to go to suppliers and markets to buy the flowers you need for your inventory. You may find yourself doing a full days work before you’ve even opened your shop. You will need to be able to work at varying times and if need be, work outside of normal trading hours.
  • Maintaining your store – Your store and shop front is the ‘face’ of your business. A store that looks run down and unkempt is only going to make potential customers think your products are the same. Instead, looking after the store and keeping a beautiful shop will only create a positive atmosphere for everyone.
  • Managing prices – When you’re a florist, you need to be creative but you also need a business head on your shoulders. Working out prices to cover costs of the running of the business all while being competitive can be a tricky task. Knowing how much to charge customers will be needed to ensure the sustainability of your business.
  • Care of plants and flowers – Having flowers in the store and selling them is one thing, but looking after them is also a huge part of the role. Ensuring plants and flowers can stay alive for as long as possible before being sold to customers will mean your inventory lasts longer, you save costs, and don’t have to buy stock every day. Knowing how to take care of your product is imperative and is a large part of being a florist.

Becoming a florist is a very rewarding career. To find out more about how to pursue your dream job in floristry, check out the courses available from ICI UK.

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Gladys Mae

Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.