Florist

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Sarah, late 20s

How did you become a florist?

Becoming a florist was a spur of the moment decision for Sarah Adams, who now works at Splash of Colour Flowers.

First attracted to the occupation because of the potential for creativity it offered, she's been working in the industry for 10 years now. Having researched the job quite thoroughly before getting into the industry, Sarah said her expectations were pretty realistic, so there were no major surprises.

What does a florist do?

As a trainee, there's a lot of mundane work to be done, and for the first few months, you might not even get a chance to touch the fresh flowers. There'll be a lot of cleaning, and every second day, the flowers need their water changed. "It's also not a job you'd get into because of the money, especially at the start," says Sarah.

Once you are a florist, you could open your own shop, or even branch off, with further study, into related areas such as horticulture. Also, as some shops are more specialised and arrange flowers exclusively for weddings or corporate functions, you could focus on a particular type of flower arranging.

What are some of the pros and cons of the job?

"The most enjoyable part is seeing what you can create with different flowers, and it's rewarding when people admire your arrangements. However, the work's also quite physical. You're on your feet all day, and there's a lot of cleaning. Flowers aren't so beautiful when they're dead and stinky!"

What sort of skills and qualities do you need?

In order to become a florist, Sarah says that you will need to be creative and pretty outgoing. "Because you're working in the retail industry and dealing with the public, strong people skills are really important. And sometimes you will need to guide customers in their choices, so you'll also need to be confident." There's also a fair bit of lifting, so you'll need to be able to handle physical work, and this is something that people often don't expect."

In Sarah's current job, she gets the chance to create unique flower arrangements and sometimes ones she wouldn't have designed herself. "We've had customers request bunches of roses spray-painted black," says Sarah.

Are there any tips for getting a job as a florist?

For anyone interested in working as a florist, Sarah advises that it's a good idea to get some work experience so that you know what the job involves. This might even involve doing a bit of volunteer work. "It's not quite as romantic as some people think," warns Sarah.

However, if you get into the occupation with realistic expectations as Sarah did, chances are that you will find it as rewarding as she does. "I enjoy the work so I'm happy!"

Find out more about a career in floristry

Visit the MyFuture website to find more about duties and tasks, work conditions, earnings and required qualifications for a career in floristry.

Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (new window) (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).