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Floriculture: A Unique Direction for Vo-Tech Students

Floriculture is the art and science of facilitating the growth and sales of flowers, including harvesting, distribution and sales. Dealing with flowers is an interesting and fast-paced occupation in which one can either work indoors in design and retail or outdoors in harvesting. High technical skills involving machinery may also be required.

Within the category of floriculture, high school vocational-technical students can choose from being a wholesaler, retail seller or grower. Other careers, such as research and pest management are available with additional education. Students may need to acquire certifications and/or licenses to perform this work.

Floriculturalists are always in demand, just as flowers are needed 365 days a year, with the busiest being Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day.

Job titles within the floriculture field include manager and grower. As a manager, one would supervise the daily routine of a farm or oversee nursery and greenhouse operations.

If one chooses to be a grower or to supervise flower growers, use of the hands would be part of this occupation. Other skill areas are:

– Growing bulbs
– Fertilization
– Preservation of cut flowers and foliage
– Harvesting flowers and seeds

Possible job titles in the commercial growing side of the business would be:

– Floricultural Business Manager
– Floricultural Tradesperson
– Flower Grower
– Floricultural Supervisor

Wholesalers buy cut flowers from the farms and resell them to florist shops. As a florist, one would design flower arrangements and offer them to retail customers. Other functions on the retail side are retailing, operations, marketing, importing and design.

Potential job titles on the wholesale and retail side of this occupation are:

– Manager of retail florist shop
– Floral Designer
– General Manager
– Flower Buyer

High school students can earn a number of different certifications, including a certificate in Horticulture, with an emphasis in cut flowers. Half of the coursework is concentrated on marketing. A one-year certification in floral design is also available.

The other half of the Horticulture certification introduces vo-tech students to various types of plants, and how to feed, nurture and protect them from insect pests. A second short course in Cut Flower Production is sometimes available and offers an overview for flower farm growers and managers. Work-study can be helpful in this field, especially for high school vocational technical students who have learned the skills under the tutor saliba learning method.

Average salaries for floriculturists are around $43,000. The industry produces for several types of outlets, including retail stores, export, wholesale flower marts, manufacture of essential oils and florists. Flower farms grow all of the most popular flowers, including annuals and bulbs.

For student interested in becoming a professional floriculturist, high school level vo-tech training using the tutor saliba teaching method for visual, hearing and speaking learners can nurture business skills as they learn about the floriculture industry.