How to Become a Florist: What to Expect When Starting Your Career as a
Send Stunning Flowers in Toronto & the GTA
How to Become a Florist: What to Expect When Starting Your Career as a Floral Designer

  Are you an aspiring florist wondering how to make your dream career path a reality?

Flowers are a beautiful medium to work with, especially for those with a creative eye or a background in design. The first and only requirement for starting your training in floral design is that you must love flowers, through and through. And - you can't be afraid of hard work and getting dirty!

You may be wondering - where do I start? How do I know if floral design is for me? We get asked these questions all the time. That's why our Wild North Flowers team has put together this article to help you navigate your way to becoming a florist.

  Is floral design right for you?

Most people don’t realize that being a florist is actually quite a physically demanding and messy job. If you are willing to get your hands and fingernails dirty, you will fit right in.

Here are a few things to consider about your day-to-day life as a florist:

  • You’ll be on your feet for long hours at a time, every day.

  • You’ll be doing lots of heavy lifting—those water buckets are no joke!

  • There is a lot of cleaning—sweeping up flower clippings and scrubbing vases will be a part of the daily grind.

  • You get to work with gorgeous flowers and learn about their varieties.

  • If you have pollen allergies they could flare up at certain times of year.

  • You’ll gain a like-minded community of supportive, hard-working creatives.

  • You’ll grow as a designer and deepen your appreciation for nature.

  • You get to create art every day!

  • You will be working with a perishable product, which can be stressful and expensive.

  • You will be working with clients during high-stakes moments in their lives. Weddings, funerals, anniversaries, baby showers - these are all monumental moments.

  Flower School

Becoming a florist in Canada doesn’t have any formal education requirements or prerequisites (although you should at least have a high school education before pursuing a career in floral design). Unlike in many other parts of the world, there is no certification required to call yourself a florist. That means the "barrier to entry" is quite low. Which can be seen as both a good and a bad thing.

Just because floral certification is not required in Canada, that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing formal training courses and workshops available to fast-track your progress to becoming a professional floral designer. Because there are so many educational modes of learning, you can tailor-make a plan that is best for you.

There is a lot of information that aspiring florists must learn (and master) besides the physical act of creating arrangements in different styles. If you want to become a florist, you will also need to understand the proper care, seasonality, and sourcing of flowers year-round. You will have to learn the names of most cut flowers and greenery. You will need to learn "flower math", and understand the basic business principles of floristry. Depending on where you work, you may need to learn a lot about plant care.

Some options to consider for a floral career are:

  • Traditional Certification: College programs will cover the widest range of material over the course of several semesters. This is the best choice for those who want to become a certified floral designer before applying for roles in the floral industry.

  • In-Person Workshops: In-person workshops are a great way to begin by dabbling and building your knowledge of floral design accordingly. Many flower shops, like Wild North Flowers, offer a rotating selection of courses that cover different techniques and styles.

  • Intensive Courses: Like the previous option, intensive courses are usually a prolonged series of workshops that are a little like a floral boot camp. You'll work with an experienced florist to create arrangements and learn as much as possible in a set amount of time, usually with a focus on topics such as Installations or Wedding Flowers.

  • Online Learning: If there aren’t many floral design courses or flower shops offering workshops near you, this option is perfect! More and more floral designers are offering online video tutorials that will show you everything you need to know about working with flowers and the floral design business from the comfort of your own home. Some that we love are and @bloomschooltoronto

  • Internships: Maybe you want to forgo a formal education altogether and prefer to work with your hands in a floral shop? Find a studio that is hiring for a position with no experience required and learn everything you need to know from on-the-job training. Can't find a job because you don't have any experience? We've all been there. You could volunteer to help out for free for a few days and prove yourself invaluable. There is always a lot to do in a flower shop, especially during the wedding season or big holidays! This has the added benefit of allowing you to see if you really enjoy the work before actually applying for a job or enrolling in a lengthy program.

  • Mentorships: Seek out a floral shop or a local florist you admire that offers one-on-one classes for specific floral design topics. Most florists specialize in one or two areas, and they LOVE sharing their knowledge and experience via small group or private classes.

  Practice Makes Perfect

Once you complete your basic training, it’s time to play! So, where do you buy flowers? Try sourcing your blooms from a local flower shop (or convenience or even grocery store) and take them home to experiment with. Or if you have your own garden, clip from your own flower supply.

At this stage in your craft, it’s also time to consider investing in some basic tools you can use at home. Vases, floral tape, floral frogs and most importantly, a great pair of snips (aka clippers), are all handy items to have on hand.

Creating arrangements and experimenting with different floral design styles is a great habit to maintain. Try banking inspirational floral images on apps like Instagram or Pinterest. Curating a collection of designs that you are drawn to can be a useful way to discern what your own style as a designer is becoming.  

  Portfolios and Social Media

Breaking into a creative and visually-driven industry can be tough when you are starting out. Most florists display their own work in a professional portfolio. Photographs are an excellent way to show your potential clients or employers what you can do. Try to take photos of everything you create—and lots of them! And don’t be shy about posting them on social media!

And remember - natural light is your friend when it comes to photographing flowers. The less artificial light the better. 

  Consider Your Options

Now that your basics are covered and you’re ready to take on the floral industry, it’s time to decide what kind of florist you will be. There’s more than one kind!

There are so many ways to become a successful florist. Here are a few examples of areas you can focus on in the industry:

  • Retail Flower Shop: Create daily orders for deliveries and walk-in clients at a local florist shop. This is a great option for those who want to design a variety of arrangements on a daily basis. This typically involves interacting with customers face-to-face.

  • Wedding & Event Florist: Design romantic floral bouquets and arrangements for weddings or special events. Producing proposals, building client relationships and logistical planning will all be a part of your day-to-day operations.

  • Installations and Styling: Large-scale floral installations have become a growing trend in brand launches and photo shoots. Similar to an event florist, proposals, client relations and logistics will be a huge part of this kind of work. You might also need to take some extra time to learn the intricacies of building and rigging large-scale floral installations.

  • Freelance: Do you have a knack for networking and managing your own schedule? Floral studios are always looking for an extra pair of hands during busy retail seasons, event set-ups and floral installations. Reach out to floral studios in your area and ask if they are hiring on an as-needed basis. This way you get to work with many different florists and learn new techniques every day.

  • Run Your Own Floral Business: For all the entrepreneurs out there, running your own floristry business is the best career path for those who want to own their own retail space or wedding flower business. Don't be afraid to start small. Word-of-mouth will be your best friend!

  Ready to start your floral design career?

Wild North Flowers offers several in-person and online workshops for whatever stage you are at in your practice. Whether you are a curious hobbyist who loves flowers, or a seasoned designer wanting to learn new techniques, our workshops will leave you with a wealth of knowledge about designing with flowers and working in the floral industry.

Check out our workshops here and start your floral design journey with our wild bunch.


I took your workshop tonite [sic] and just wanted to say how much I enoyed it!!! Fabulous instructor and stunning flowers to bring home!"

— Cherry Bomb Mercantile


The workshop was AMAZING and the Sr. Designer who led the workshop equally fantastic. I learned so much and am looking forward to attending another one in the future."

— Ryan R.


I received this [virtual] workshop as a birthday gift and it was an amazing experience - the tutorial was very clear and well done. As someone who has very limited artistic talent, I couldn't believe how beautiful the arrangement turned out."

— Oana J.

  Book a Spot in a Workshop!

Hand-Tied Arrangement Workshop

Dried Floral Arrangement Workshop

Glass Vase Arrangement Workshop

October 24, 2023 by Jennifer Fowlow

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.