How to Become a Floral Designer in Illinois

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How to Become a Floral Designer in Illinois

Whether you’re looking to start a career as a florist or are into learning floral design, we can help guide you on your first steps.

Floral design is a beautiful career as you work with various flowers and plants.

If you want to become licensed in Illinois, this guide can guide you to becoming a successful floral designer.

Steps to Become a Floral Designer in Illinois

Becoming a floral designer in Illinois takes a few steps before you can work independently.

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If you have no experience, you will need some basics before you can become a fully-fledged florist.

Below, we list each of the steps you’ll need to take in order to become a florist.

Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma or GED

The first step to becoming a florist is getting your GED or high school diploma.

Entry-level florists require basic high school education.

So, if you don’t have your high school diploma or GED, you must attain that first.

Step 2: Gain Experience

A good way to get experience is by volunteering or interning at a floral shop.

This can help you gain hands-on experience and learn from a professional.

Building a portfolio is key to becoming a professional florist and getting hired.

Step 3: Get Certification

Certification from the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) can help you gain experience.

Not only does it show that you’re dedicated to the craft, but you’ll also gain knowledge and skills to help you in the profession.

Although, it is not required that you are certified to work as a floral designer in Illinois.

Step 4: Apply For Jobs

Once you have enough experience and education, you can apply for entry-level floral design positions.

The best way to get accepted into a job is to connect with people already in the field.

You can also contact and join floral social media groups to help network and gain new relationships.

Step 5: Apply For a License

While not required, you must obtain a license to get your own floral design business.

This includes obtaining a business license for your company and any other necessary permits.

Your state or jurisdiction will specify these permits.

Floral Designer Programs/Classes

To join a floral design class in Illinois, you should look into the Illinois State Florists Association (ISFA).

Here, you can find a few resources about becoming a professional florist.

The ISFA also offers online courses for a price, including:

  • The Elements and Principles of Design
  • Care & Handling of Cut Flowers and Foliage
  •  Care & Handling of Foliage and Flowering Plants
  • Flower Shop Delivery Concepts
  • The Art of Effective Visual Merchandising
  • Floral Sales and Profitability for Retail Florists
  • Floral Business Procedures and Policies
  • Advertising and Marketing

The ISFA also includes hands-on courses, including:

  • Everyday Basic Designs
  • loral Design Techniques & Applications
  • Wedding Design Techniques
  • Sympathy Design Basics

After that, you will need to take the ICPF Comprehensive Assessment exam.

You can find information on their website about testing dates.

Floral Designer Schools in Illinois – Summary Table


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national annual salary is a median of $29,880 in 2023.

he lower percentile makes an estimated $22,830, while the higher percentile makes $44,820.

Florists in Illinois make an average of $31,210 in 2023.

The low end makes $25,982, while the high end makes $49,992.

However, these salaries are just estimates, and high-end florists can make even more depending on their clientele.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Chicago $57,393
Aurora $56,907
Rockford $53,579
Peoria $52,551
Waukegan $54,365
Cicero $57,393
Elgin $56,464
Joliet $55,936
Springfield $51,484
Naperville $56,339

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Champaign-Urbana, IL40$33,490$16.1$50,720$24,960
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI1,880$34,630$16.65$46,940$28,080
Peoria, IL100$32,540$15.64$47,010$24,960
Springfield, IL30$32,800$15.77$43,220$24,960
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Floral Designers, OCC Code 27-1023, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do floral designers make a lot of money?

Floral designers in Illinois make a varying amount of money depending on experience, location, and business.

A high-end floral design company will make more than one on the lower end.

For example, some professional florists can make upward of $70k a year, while the lower end may see as little as $20k.

Is there a demand for floral designers?

Unfortunately, there will be less demand for floral designers in the coming years.

The profession is expected to decline by 21% in the next decade.

This is not because the position will go out of business but because most florists will either exit the labor force or retire in the next decade.

What are the cons of being a floral designer?

Floral designers see most of their work during holidays rather than having a steady amount of work throughout the year.

The orders generally peak during the holiday seasons, and it can become difficult to maintain quality with so many orders.

Additionally, they may find they can’t accommodate or meet clients’ expectations with limited events or deadlines.

Is being a florist a stressful job?

Being a florist is a manageable job compared to other high-demand jobs.

Instead, florists fight their stressors, including working within tight deadlines, managing inventory, and creating unique floral designs.

Aside from that, florists have a competitive job where they must outdo their competition.

USA Floral Design by State

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