Yes, event planners plan parties. But they also plan concerts, conventions, competitions, ceremonies, festivals—anything clients can dream up. You might work internally for a business, or be hired to plan individual events. It’s not as simple as mailing out the invitations—you’ll need to find a date, reserve a venue, get permits, arrange transportation, catering, themes—and you’ll have to do it all on a budget, while still making your client look good. Not put off? You might make a great event planner.
Annual salaries for event planners will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2012, the average annual salary for event planners working in the U.S. was $50,190 per year.
For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for event planners, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.
California currently has the highest rate of employment for event planners, where 8,030 are working in a variety of industries, and earning an annual average wage of $54,500. New York State is second in the United States for event planner employment, with 7,460 presently occupying positions statewide, and making a yearly average salary of $58,610.
The metro areas employing the most event planners are:
The metro areas employing the highest concentration of event planners are:
The metro areas employing the best-paid event planners are:
Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as an event planner. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.
So you’re highly organized, communicate very well, and love thinking of new ways to entertain people. What’s in event planning for you? Plenty:
To be a great event planner, you need to be organized and fun in equal measures. You need to do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it. And you’ll need to find new ways to make events enjoyable for guests. A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.
Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about event planning careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.
Vocational and Trade
A qualification in hospitality, such as hotel management, planning, hospitality or tourism management, can be useful for an event planner (as is work experience in hospitality).
However, many businesses prefer event planners with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, communications or business. For those with degrees, experience working in a related field such as hotel management, planning, hospitality or tourism management, is still very valuable.
Some employers may also prefer candidates who have received a credential from the Convention Industry Council or the Society of Government Meeting Professionals, which are organizations that offer voluntary certification in the practice.