Blossoming career as florist

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IF you have a creative side and an interest in plants, then a job as a florist could be the one for you.

Florists use their creativity and knowledge of plants and flowers to design and assemble flower arrangements. They also design bouquets and wreaths. If you love plants and flowers, and you have artistic talents, this could be the career you are looking for.

To be a florist, you should have good practical skills. You will need the ability to explain your ideas to customers. You will also need a helpful and pleasant manner.

The most common way to become a florist is to find relevant work and train on the job, often completing work-based qualifications.

As a florist you would:

l help customers to choose suitable flowers and plants

l make up bouquets and arrangements based on your own ideas, design books and your customers’ requirements

lprepare flowers for formal displays

l advise customers on how to look after the flowers or plants they buy

l set up displays, for example at conferences or exhibitions

l deliver orders to customers.

You may also sell gifts, greetings cards and decorations. If you run your own business, you would keep accounts and carry out other administration tasks.

You would work shop hours, including Saturdays and possibly Sundays. You may need to start work very early in the mornings to buy stock, and work extra hours to make sure that orders are completed on time - especially at busy times .

You could work in a shop or on an outside stall. You would spend most of your time on your feet, either dealing with customers or making up flower arrangements at a bench in the workroom where flower arrangements are made up. You may need to travel to wholesalers, nurseries or to make deliveries to customers.

Earnings for those new to the job can be around the National Minimum Wage. Experienced florists can earn from around £16,000 to over £18,000 a year, and managers can earn £25,000 a year.

The most common way to become a florist is to find relevant work and train on the job, often completing work-based qualifications.

To find work, you will need to be able to show that you are interested in floristry and have the potential to be good at it. This could include:

•doing courses in flower arranging or basic floristry at a college or adult education centre

l joining a local flower arranging club

l looking for opportunities to help out in a florist’s shop as a volunteer.