Flower Grader

Grade stems, leaves, and petals for flower shops following USDA standards.
picture of Flower Grader

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$16,000 – $28,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Flower Graders do?

As the saying goes, “A rose is just a rose.” But to a Flower Grader, this thought is laughable.

As a Flower Grader, you spend your days with flowers, looking for the tiny differences in petals, leaves, and stems that will let you sort and separate them into different bunches.

Flower Graders are found in flower shops, grocery stores, and markets. Wherever you find yourself working, though, your basic responsibility is to make sure the flowers available for sale are in good condition. You look at petals, leaves, and stems to check that none are broken, missing, or diseased. If you find a flower that has wilted, is missing leaves, or has been attacked by a bug, you get rid of it. The ones left over get separated and then made up into bouquets or centerpieces. You can separate flowers by color, variety, or stage of growth. For example, the younger a flower is, the tighter the bud, which some people prefer over flowers that are already open and blooming.

The training you get is done on the job, and you learn little tricks, like putting flowers with weaker stems close to those with stronger stems so the entire bouquet looks healthy and strong.

The standards you follow in grading flowers have been created by the USDA and the flower industry, but the USDA doesn’t regulate how flowers must look. They do have a set of guidelines that you can follow when packaging flowers and looking for ones considered not sellable, which means you don’t need to guess how many daisies are in a bunch, or the correct length to cut a fern to.

Should I be a Flower Grader?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Flour Tester, Fruit Grader

    How to become a Flower Grader

    Most Flower Graders have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baaaa&chl=no+college+%2898%25%29|certificate+%282%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,98,98
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