For an interactive introduction to careers in floriculture, and interviews with people who work in the industry nationwide, take a look at the online Careers Guide from Flower Association of Queensland.
Floristry and horticulture are largely practical in nature; learning by doing. Vocational study courses – sometimes called VETs – usually incorporate an element of apprenticeship or day release learning, where students can practice what they learn in the classroom, in their job.
Most professional florists undergo some formal study to gain qualifications, whether a short class at a private school, one-to-one tuition, or vocational courses at a TAFE.
Taking a one-day or short course will give you an idea of whether you have the dexterity and aesthetic sensibility to go further in floristry. Many florists offer workshops for beginners – eg Christmas wreath-making – where you can try it out!
Many experienced florists also take one-day or short courses themselves, to develop a specific skill such as wiring a corsage, or working with new products. Good florists are continually learning throughout their careers.
Top Tip – if you are looking for a floristry course, look under ‘Creative Arts’ AND ‘Horticulture’, as each provider classifies it differently.
If you find you have an aptitude and liking for floristry, you can progress through the Certificate levels to a professional career.
- Cert II gives a good basic overall grounding in floristry techniques and skills, and some training relating to sales.
- Cert III increases the knowledge from Cert II, incorporating more specialist floristry techniques such as wedding work; and increasing the training in sales, stock control and buying.
- Cert IV training equips you to manage a florist retail outlet or design business by yourself; as well as giving you the creative tools to produce a broad range of arrangements and displays. Not all states offer Cert IV.
Beyond Certificate IV is the Diploma, which usually concentrates on advanced design skills, such as those for competition work or demonstrations. For International-level florists, AIFD is the qualification to aim for.
Studying for horticulture
There are many different career paths in horticulture, from practical hands-on growing and harvesting; management of large farms; retail and wholesale; to laboratory research and cutting edge technology.
As with floristry, if you find you have an interest in growing, farming, and cultivation you can progress through Certificate levels to a professional career.
- Cert II gives a good basic overall grounding in horticulture techniques and skills, and some training relating to sales.
- Cert III increases the knowledge from Cert II, incorporating more specialist horticulture knowledge such as propagation, irrigation, nutrition and fertigation, and biosecurity.
- Cert IV training equips you to operate a horticulture company or nursery; as well as giving you tools for staff management, policies and compliance . Not all states offer Cert IV.
Beyond Certificate IV is the Diploma, which usually concentrates on business management, strategy and leadership. There are also many advanced or specialist research and study options through Masters and PhD level.
WorldSkills competition – are you eligible to enter?
To learn about the people who already work in horticulture and floristry, take a look at this interactive Careers Guide