Top Floral Design Schools in Colorado for Aspiring Floral Artists

Looking to start a career in floral design? Colorado has several top floral design schools in Colorado that can help you master the craft. This article covers the best schools, their key programs, courses, and certification opportunities. Find out where you can get hands-on experience and turn your passion into a profession.

  • Colorado hosts several top floral design schools, including Palmer School of Floral Design and School of Floral Arts, offering comprehensive programs that balance theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience.
  • Certification opportunities, such as those provided by the Floral Association of the Rockies and the American Institute of Floral Designers, enhance a floral designer’s credentials and career prospects, even though they are not mandatory.
  • Online floral design courses offer flexibility for aspiring designers, allowing them to gain necessary skills and certifications while working at their own pace from home.

Formal education and hands-on experience are the cornerstones of a successful career in floral design. While natural talent and creativity are essential, structured learning provides the foundation for mastering the art and science of floral arranging. Through comprehensive programs, students gain knowledge of floral materials, design techniques, and industry standards, preparing them to excel as professional floral designers.

Moreover, hands-on experience allows students to apply what they’ve learned in real-world settings, fostering practical skills and confidence. By combining education with practical experience, aspiring floral designers can transform their passion into a rewarding and sustainable career.

Leading Floral Design Schools in Colorado

Colorado offers a range of top-notch floral design schools that provide structured learning and a comprehensive understanding of floral artistry. These institutions are dedicated to nurturing the creativity and skills of aspiring floral designers, equipping them with the knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the industry.

Attending a floral design school can be a transformative experience, offering students the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and gain hands-on practice with fresh flowers and floral materials. Institutions such as the Palmer School of Floral Design in Fort Collins and the School of Floral Arts in Denver are renowned for their in-depth programs and supportive learning environments.

By enrolling in these schools, students not only learn the basics of floral arranging but also delve into advanced techniques and industry-specific knowledge. This holistic approach ensures that graduates are well-prepared to create stunning floral arrangements and thrive as professional floral designers.

Key Programs and Courses Offered

Colorado’s leading floral design schools offer a variety of programs and courses tailored to different skill levels and interests. For instance, Front Range Community College’s Larimer campus provides a certificate in floral design, which is an excellent starting point for beginners. Similarly, Arapahoe Community College in Littleton offers affordable classes at $69 each, making it accessible for those on a budget.

The Palmer School of Floral Design in Fort Collins offers a more intensive certificate program with tuition around $3,200. This program is designed for those who are serious about pursuing a career in floral design and includes comprehensive training in various techniques and styles. The School of Floral Arts in Denver also provides a floral design certificate program that covers all materials and fees, with a total cost of $2,150.

For those looking for hands-on workshops, Ladybird Poppy Floral Design offers in-person classes where all necessary materials are provided. Participants learn to select and process blooms, arrange them into beautiful designs, and apply these skills to future projects. These workshops are perfect for those who prefer a more interactive and guided learning experience.

These programs not only cover the basics of floral arranging but also delve into advanced techniques and industry-specific knowledge. By completing these courses, students gain a solid foundation in floral design, preparing them to excel in their careers and create stunning floral arrangements.

Certification Opportunities for Floral Designers in Colorado

While Colorado does not have minimum educational or licensing requirements for working in floral design, obtaining certification can significantly enhance a floral designer’s credentials and career prospects. The Floral Association of the Rockies (FAR) offers statewide certification, which can be a valuable asset for those looking to establish themselves in the industry.

The cost for the FAR certification exam is $600, a worthwhile investment for the credibility and recognition it brings. National certification, regulated by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), is another prestigious credential. To maintain AIFD certification, floral designers must complete 25 continued education credits over three years, ensuring they stay current with industry trends and techniques.

Achieving national certification can help attract more clients and potentially lead to higher earnings. By pursuing these certification opportunities, floral designers can demonstrate their expertise and commitment to excellence, positioning themselves as leaders in the floral industry.

Learning from Renowned Floral Artists

Learning from renowned floral artists can be an inspiring and transformative experience for aspiring floral designers. Courses and masterclasses taught by industry icons like Preston Bailey and Kevin Lee provide invaluable insights into the art of floral design and event decor.

The Preston Bailey Floral Design Course is a comprehensive, self-paced program that spans approximately six months and includes around 240 course hours. This course covers essential techniques such as processing fresh flowers, creating a variety of arrangements, and using non-floral materials to enhance designs. By the end of the course, students are well-equipped to create unique and breathtaking arrangements, applying both artistic flair and technical skills.

Kevin Lee’s Master Class in Event Design is another excellent opportunity for those looking to learn from a world-premier event designer. His course is recognized in the industry for its focus on intricate techniques and creative expression, making it a valuable resource for floral designers aiming to elevate their craft.

Hands-On Experience and Internships

Hands-on experience is crucial for mastering the art of floral design. Working directly with live, dried, and silk flowers and greenery helps aspiring designers develop their skills and confidence. Internships offer practical skills and real-world training, allowing students to apply what they’ve learned in a professional setting under the guidance of an experienced floral designer.

Participants in Ladybird Poppy Floral Design classes, for example, take home their creations and can use their newfound skills in future projects. Such opportunities are invaluable for building a portfolio and gaining experience in various floral arranging techniques.

Additionally, completing a course like the floral arranging basics course can unlock further opportunities such as access to internships and industry events. These experiences are essential for career development, providing a solid foundation for aspiring floral designers to build upon.

Online Floral Design Courses

For those seeking flexibility, online floral design courses offer a convenient alternative to traditional classroom programs. Some popular online floral design courses include:

  • Preston Bailey’s Fundamentals of Floral Design, offered in partnership with Northern Maine Community College
  • The Floral Design Institute’s online courses
  • The American Institute of Floral Designers’ online courses

These courses allow students to work at their own pace from the comfort of their homes.

No prior experience is required for many online courses, making them accessible to beginners. Graduates receive the same certifications as those who complete in-person programs, ensuring they have the credentials needed to succeed in the floral industry.

Online courses, such as the online flower arrangement course, often include comprehensive course materials and floral design course assignments, covering topics such as arrangement flower processing methods, arrangement techniques, and the use of non-floral materials. This flexibility and thorough curriculum make online courses an excellent option for aspiring floral designers.

Career Prospects and Salary Expectations

Floral designers in Colorado can expect a range of career prospects and salary expectations. As of May 2024, the average floral designer salary in Denver is approximately $57,056. The salary range typically falls between $46,318 and $68,955, depending on experience and skill level.

Floral designers in the 10th percentile earn around $36,542, while those in the 75th percentile make about $68,955. Top earners in the 90th percentile can expect to make approximately $79,787. This variation highlights the potential for growth and higher earnings with experience and advanced skills.

The floral industry in Colorado offers numerous opportunities for creative and skilled professionals, including becoming a skilled floral designer today. With moderate-term on-the-job training and continuous learning, floral designers can build successful and fulfilling careers.

Essential Tools and Supplies for Students

Aspiring floral designers need a well-equipped toolkit to create floral arrangements that are both beautiful and professional. Essential floral arrangement supplies include adhesives, which provide a solid foundation for designs and bond quickly and safely. Dried materials such as pods, cones, branches, and mosses add texture and interest to arrangements. Through floral materials research, create even more stunning and unique designs by discovering new elements to incorporate into your work.

Floral foam is another crucial tool, designed to:

  • Absorb and hold water, keeping flower stems hydrated and securely in place
  • Provide a stable base for flower arrangements
  • Create structure and support for the arrangement

Floristry picks and anchors also play an important role in flower arrangements, ensuring stability and structure.

Additionally, flower tapes and floral design wires are both decorative and functional, available in various colors and styles to suit different design needs. These tools are readily available at local craft stores and are essential for any floral design student.

Starting Your Own Floral Business

Starting your own floral business requires careful planning and preparation. Building relationships with wholesalers is a crucial step, beginning with a positive and flexible mindset. Reaching out, sharing information, and asking questions can help establish a strong partnership with a wholesaler.

To find a reliable wholesaler, use online resources like the Florists’ Review Sourcebook or ask a florist friend for recommendations. When contacting a wholesaler, inquire about their ordering processes, lead times, and pricing to ensure they meet your business needs.

Opening an account with a floral wholesaler may require a business license, a reseller’s permit, and a resale certificate. These documents are necessary for purchasing wholesale flowers and supplies. Additionally, placing a minimum order of $300 can maximize freight space and provide the best shipping costs.

Understanding the logistics and requirements of running a floral business, such as obtaining permits and licenses, is crucial for success. By taking these steps, aspiring business owners can establish a strong foundation for their floral enterprises.