Average Salary: $24,750
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,033,263
Like other horticultural industries, floral design isn't very lucrative. Those who do best are those who own their own floral design studios, but those who don't own start out at least a little better than most horticultural careers.
They can start out at $25,000 annually, and get to $30,000 before five years (source). Another $5,000 can be added over the next five years for annual earnings of nearly $40,000 after ten years' time (source). Congratulations—you're now making annually what a hedge fund manager spends on his watch.
This is where the "good news" comes to an end. Even though rates of pay after ten years are all over the map, and some floral designers in the most trendy floral design studios can double their pay over the years to $80,000 or more annually, it can, and often does, stagnate at about $40,000 in the typical design studios (source).
Of course, revenue is better for the floral design studios that are in communities that have more money to spend on flowers. For example, floral design studios on Long Island or in Beverly Hills bring in more money because the clientele has more to spend. Those in the Bronx or Watts aren't so lucky.
Money generally isn't the main motivation for working in the floral design industry. Most floral designers do what they do because they enjoy it so much. Like other artists, floral designers see their work as an opportunity to express their artistic ability, and hopefully to capitalize on it, even if it's in a not-so-lucrative way.
At least most of them don't have to rely on tips tossed into an open guitar case. Though "the bouquet busker" does have a certain ring to it.