Factors that Influence an Event Planner Salary

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It is a good time to be an event planner. The event planning industry has witnessed tremendous growth and the outlook points to a continued upward trend. Event planners are needed in almost every industry – from corporations to convention centers to nonprofits and the tech industry. This bodes well for event planners and may be why this segment is experiencing higher-than-normal job growth.

If you are contemplating a career switch, you may be wondering what type of salary you might expect as an event planner. Or perhaps you want to know how to advance as an event planner or whether you should ask for a pay increase. Regardless of your personal circumstances, it is always smart to have a sense of the job trends in your business sector so that you can tailor your career goals accordingly.

Salaries for those with an Event Planner or Meeting Planner title vary depending on a number of factors. There is no “one size fits all”. Industry, location, company size, years of experience and level of education all come into play when determining an event planner salary.

Location, Location, Location

Location is certainly a driving force behind the salaries in this profession. Those working in large cities will enjoy a higher than average pay rate. Certain geographic regions have higher pay than others due to demand, growth and overall local economy. Do a little research on the up and coming growth areas for this industry if you are contemplating a move.

Experience Affects Event Planner Salaries

In addition to education, experience carries considerable weight in landing an event planner job. And experience pays. Those just starting out in the event planning business generally begin with salaries at the lower end of the range. This is true for many industries, not just event planning. But salaries for event planners rise as they gain experience so if you are new to event planning, get your foot in the door, work hard and learn. It will pay off in more ways than one.

What’s in a Job Title?

If you have ever combed the job boards in search of an event planner position, you are likely familiar with the many titles that may be associated with Event Planner. These include:

  • Meeting Planner
  • Event Manager
  • Special Events Planner
  • Wedding Planner
  • Party Planner
  • Marketing Events Coordinator
  • Director of Events
  • Special Events Manager

The list goes on. And on. The possible job titles in this industry seem endless. Each position and title brings a different set of responsibilities. Which, of course, translates into varying rates of pay. Every event planner job must be evaluated based on the specific job duties and the degree of responsibility.

Skills That Can Boost an Event Planner Salary

Event planners boast a treasure chest of skills including top-notch organizational skills, great customer service, and creativity. Those event planners with skills in the following areas generally have higher compensation than the average:

  • Contract Negotiation
  • Budget Management
  • Project Management
  • Event Management

So if you are looking to move up on the pay ladder, add these important skills to your resume. In addition, gaining event planning certifications through continuing education may also help you land a higher paying position.

Career Paths for Event Planners

It is not uncommon for an event planner to start out working at a small organization and then advance to a larger one. Event planners often transition into positions as Event Managers or Meeting & Convention Planners and then, further down the road, to Director of Events or Senior Event Manager. Others choose to start their own event planning business or work as an independent consultant. There are many opportunities to pave your own way in this exciting industry and find the role that suits you best.

Event Planners are Happy on the Job

Several studies show significant job satisfaction among event planners. Opportunities for advancement and increased salary are listed as top reasons. Another is the positive work-life balance. As for the rest? Perhaps for those well suited to event planning, it is the challenge of creatively juggling numerous tasks and essential details while masterfully handling the inevitable unexpected turn of events and still executing a memorable, successful event.