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 salary can vary quite a bit depending on a myriad of factors. What kind of event are you planning? You can be a wedding planner, a conference and events planner, or some other type of event planner.
You can work for yourself or for an event planning company. Your salary will also be influenced by factors such as what city you live and work in and whether you have an event planning certification.
As you can see, answering the question of how much do event planners make 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 so you can learn how much money event planners can make.
Let’s dive right in!
Is Event Planning a Good Career?
What is an event planner – and what exactly are the job responsibilities of an event planner? These are important details to iron out before you ponder potential salary expectations.
As an event planner, you will be expected to juggle a variety of tasks and responsibilities. You will be responsible for making sure 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 their individual timelines, and work with other vendors.
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 in the process. 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. 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 who are retiring or leaving the workforce.
Plus, event planners really do love their jobs. The Convene Salary Report indicated that 70% of event planners were satisfied with their careers (though about half wished they earned more – don’t we all!).
Event Planner Salary: Do Event Planners 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 as well as 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, there are several factors that influence the salary of an event planner. Here are some things to consider as you’re looking for a job.
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 tend to bring in the highest average salaries. Of course, many of these states also have a higher than average cost of living, so that’s something to consider as well.
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 a field like hospitality, communication, tourism management, or event planning can make a big difference in your average salary.
It can also increase your odds of being hired by an event planning company, something that could be instrumental in helping you get your foot in the door in the competitive world of conference and events planning.
Even 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.
Do You Have Any Certifications?
Certifications can also be helpful when you are trying to become an event organizer of any kind.
There are certain certifications that are more applicable to specific industries. However, you might consider becoming a certified professional in catering and events or a certified conference and events professional, for example.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
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 it comes to working in this industry, which relies heavily on common sense!
As you gain more experience, you may be able to pursue more advanced job titles – and a higher average pay, too. 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 in 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 the list of services offered to your clients, too.
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 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 own event planning service, you should 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 a 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 certain 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 put you at the higher end of the pay scale, too.
Should You Become an Event Planner?
If you’re considering becoming an event planner, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this career. Event planning can be fulfilling and can 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 then go ahead! Take the leap into this exciting field and enjoy a decent salary while you’re at it.