If you enjoy putting together the finest events and parties, you might be asking yourself, “how much do event planners make?” as you consider this as a potential career.
The average event planner’s salary can vary quite a bit depending on many factors. What kind of event are you planning? You can be a wedding planner, a conference and events planner, or some other related job titles.
You can work for yourself or an event planning company. Your median salary will also be influenced by what city you live and work in and whether you have an event planning certification. So, expect a wedding planner’s salary to differ from that of meeting planners.
Answering how much event planners make or the national average salary isn’t always easy. So, we’re here to help guide you through it all. In this post, we’ll break things down a bit further for you to learn how much money an event planner makes based on certain factors.
Let’s dive right in!
Is Event Planning a Good Career?
Who is an event planner – and what exactly are the job responsibilities of an event planner? These are essential details to iron out before you ponder potential salary expectations.
As an event planner, you will be expected to juggle various tasks and responsibilities. You will be responsible for ensuring the event, whether it’s a conference, wedding, or graduation ceremony, runs on time and that all details have been taken care of.
You might have to take care of last-minute changes, schedule events, and timelines, and work with other vendors depending on the services offered. If you plan weddings, you could be tasked with calming a frantic bride or making sure a business conference runs on schedule – down to the minute!
This is a high-stress job that can also be quite rewarding. You’ll be able to put your leadership and communication skills to the test – and earn a decent salary. But, of course, you may be expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays, too – so that’s something to be considered before you dive into this profession.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an excellent job outlook for this profession and related jobs. The employment of these professionals is projected to grow by about 18% by 2030. This is significantly faster than the national average!
Many of these openings are expected to be caused by the need to replace workers retiring or leaving the workforce. Plus, event planners do love their jobs. The Convene Salary Report indicated that 70% of event planners were satisfied with their careers (though about half wished event planners earned more – don’t we all!).
Event Planner Salary: Does an Event Planner Make Good Money?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who classify themselves as meeting, convention, and event planners bring in an average salary of $51,560 per year (or $24.79 per hour).
Indeed reports that the average salary for an event planner is around $33,000 per year, while Glassdoor reports that it is $51,892 per year. These figures are highly variable based on the location and the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic put many event planners out of work (which affects average salary readings, but only temporarily, as most people are now headed back to the job site).
That said, several factors influence what an event planner earns. Here are some things to consider as you’re looking for a job and before signing up for job alerts.
Where Do You Live?
Where you live, and your city’s job market can play a huge role in an event planner’s salary.
Event planning jobs in states like Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, California, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington State, Hawaii, and Virginia bring in the highest average salaries. But, of course, many of these states also have a higher than average cost of living, so that’s something to consider.
Metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Boston also have high-income rates. So, if you want the highest salary possible, move to a part of the country with high demand for event planners.
Exactly What Kind of Education Do You Have?
Although you could technically work in event planning without any formal education, getting a four-year bachelor’s degree in hospitality, communication, tourism management, or event planning from a college can make a big difference in your average salary.
It can also increase your odds of being hired by event planning companies, something that could be instrumental in helping you get your foot in the door in the competitive world of conferences, meetings, and events planning.
Taking a few online courses can help, so consider putting in the extra work if you want to be more competitive in the job market and become an event coordinator. This will help you attract employers, grow your knowledge, and create an enticing CV.
Do You Have Any Certifications?
Certifications can also be helpful when you are trying to become an event organizer of any kind.
Certain certifications are more applicable to specific industries and a related field. However, you might consider becoming a certified professional in catering and events or an accredited conference and events professional.
What Is Your Level of Experience?
It doesn’t matter how much education you have – the more hands-on experience you have, the higher your earning potential will be. Firsthand know-how makes a big difference when working in this industry, which relies heavily on common sense!
As you gain more experience, you may decide to pursue more advanced job titles – and higher average pay, too. For example, event planner salaries are higher when they are attached to titles like “event specialist,” “event manager,” or “director of events.”
What Other Skills Do You Have?
Even if you don’t have any formal training as an event planner or wedding planning, having a few prerequisite skills is a great way to boost your career and make more money.
Plus, the more skills you have, the more you can expand your clients’ list of services.
Some soft skills you will want to master as an event planner include:
- Problem-solving skills
- Negotiation skills
- Organizational skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
You will also need to have a handle on the following technical skills:
- Budgeting and billing
- Bid solicitation
- Event and wedding planning
- Working with content management systems
Consider Going at it On Your Own
If you’re working for an event planning company, you will likely earn a higher salary at first than if you were to go it on your own.
However, if you are considering starting your event planning service, look into the pricing offered by other wedding planners in your area. You can then set competitive fees and rates for yourself.
There are several ways you can boost your rates after that. One is to use the cost-plus method for your fees. This involves calculating the specific amount of expense that was required for planning the event – then, you’ll charge the client up to 20% of the total.
You can increase your earnings as a solo entrepreneur by thinking outside of the box. For example, you might offer day-of services or work with other vendors to boost your salary.
What Is the Highest-Paid Event Planner?
Again, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paid event planners (the highest 10% of earners) brought in more than $88,360 in 2020.
You can earn more if you work in specific sectors.
For example, professionals who identify more as business operations specialists brought in a median annual wage of $71 450. Working in administrative or support services or for a religious, grantmaking, professional, civic, or similar organization can also put you at the higher end of the pay scale.
Should You Become an Event Planner?
If you’re considering becoming an event planner, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of this career. Event planning can be fulfilling and offer a high salary, but it can also be demanding.
It is a job that requires lots of responsibility on your part–you are responsible for making sure everything goes smoothly! A lot depends on where you want to work.
There are many different industries in event planning, so there might not be one perfect fit for everyone.
However, if being at the helm of successful events sounds like something you would enjoy doing, go ahead! Take the leap into this exciting field and enjoy a decent salary while you’re at it.