Event Planner Salary, Job Descriptions, Skills, Qualifications, and More

  • 7 min read
  • Sep 14, 2021
Event Planner Salary, Job Descriptions, Skills, Qualifications, and More

For you who are interested in pursuing a professional career in event planning, this insight to event planner salary might be useful for you. In this article, you will learn about how much does an event planner make, what factors affect the amount of salary, what their job descriptions are, and what it takes to be one.

Doing salary research for the particular profession that you’re trying to get a job in may be able to lead you to gain a higher pay scale. Take your time to assess the average salary of event planner expectation, how to extend your qualifications, and improve your opportunity to enhance your salary.

Scroll down further to read about the review of event planning salary, the outlook for this job, and other related information about this specific profession.

Factors That Affect Event Planner Salary

Each job has factors that can influence its range of salaries. Here are some factors that play role in determining the earning of an event planner:

  • Skillset

Difference in skill set may affect party planner salary. In general, the skills that are correlated to above average earnings in this field are event management, contract negotiation, and budget management skills – obviously on top of the primary event organizing and planning skill.

  • Employer

A factor that can make salaries differ widely is the employer. For instance, you may expect a higher end of pay scale if you work at larger corporations that regularly handle major conventions and meetings. Conversely, if you prefer to work in a nonprofit organization that mostly manages fundraising activities, then you may receive a salary on the lower range side.

  • Location

Assuming that you work and live in a metropolitan area, there’s more chance you will earn a higher salary than someone with the same profession who works in a rural or suburban area. To give an instance, New York is the area where event planners receive the highest paid in the U.S. Event planning jobs NYC would provide you with a higher salary as much as 21% compared to other states nationwide. Other high-paying areas are including Los Angeles, California and Washington, District of Columbia. Meanwhile, Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington have lowest average salaries for event planners.

What Do Event Planners Do? Here Are Their Job Descriptions

Event planner works to organize and facilitate gatherings, meetings, parties, or other types of events. Most event planners are employed by corporations that specifically provide this type of service, but it is also common for many businesses to have their own event planning department, especially for those who run in the hospitality industry.

Sometimes, people also refer to event planners are event specialists or event coordinators. Their range of responsibilities include managing and organizing each aspect of the event – such as conceptualizing the theme, planning the budget, booking the venues, handling the logistics, communicating with clients and suppliers, as well as managing things post-event. The events also vary, from business conventions, meetings, weddings, to educational conferences.

So, what do event planners do? The list below will explain to you in detail:

  • Coordinating the event’s details, from the start to the end.

Take for an example before the event takes place, the planners will hold a meeting with a client in order to determine its purpose and estimate the number of attendants. During the actual event, they manage the logistics, including controlling the equipment and registering the guests. After the event has concluded, they also encourage feedback from audiences.

  • Searching for potential location to hold the events

Several examples of possible sites are convention centers, hotels, and many more. The planners should consider the services and lodging that can be offered by the facility, the ease to reach the location, and the surrounding attraction near the area.

  • Arrange the support services and meeting space

One example that you can take for this part of an event planner’s job description is their work to negotiate with suppliers to coordinate with on-site staff about the plans and provide meals for the guests. They establish the activities, entertainments, speakers, etc. They have to balance the budget for the events. During the event, they have to make sure that all things are set up properly.

Event Planner Skills and Qualifications

Typically, event planners have to perform tasks and jobs that require both soft and hard skills. Here are the list of common qualifications and skills owned by them:

  • Planning and organization

As their job is to plan an event, planning and organization skills are crucial for event planners. For example, an event coordinator under a large corporate has to take responsibility to plan out the event’s detail including the budget, number of attendants, location, and other relevant details.

  • Decision-making skills

Another important skill to be possessed by an event planner to build a successful career is the capability to make quick decisions by considering all related aspects of decision and while being under pressure. As an example, if the guest speaker cannot make it to the event as they are supposed to be, then the planner has to make quick decisions about how the event should proceed. Adaptability is a skill that’s deemed to be closely related to the decision making.

  • Creative thinking

Creativity is a skill that a lot of event planners rely on during the process of planning, in order to help their clients, businesses, or brands succeed in holding the event. Creativity includes the ability to search ideas for themes, collect materials, or discover talents related to the event. As an instance, an event planner will assist the bride and groom to select a suitable theme and color palettes for the wedding reception.

  • Written communication

As an event planner, written communication is a skill that’s used a lot as well. It is very advantageous to have good writing skill when you have to build a schedule, do email correspondence, or other forms of writing related to your job. Usually, event planners also utilize their writing skill to communicate with clients, note down information, and make supply lists.

  • Public speaking

Public speaking is the ability to greet, speak, and articulate information in front of large crowds. They may not have to address the audiences of events often and it might not be a major part of their work, but public speaking can be useful when talking and trying to engage with clients and customers. Here is an example, an event planner that works at a large marketing company has to organize and host a meeting, so he/she needs to address and greet clients or professionals. In addition, this skill can be applied to various situations where interaction is needed.

  • Leadership skills

All event coordinators work in team, which means they have to collaborate with other people to plan, organize and conduct the event. These need them to have solid leadership skills. This skill is useful when you need to direct the attendees, staff, and other people when trying to arrange the event.

  • Time management

Time management skill is very valuable during project completion, appointment making, and scheduling, so it is no wonder that a lot of successful event planners possess this ability. An instance where this skill is used, is where you have to keep track of schedules and deadlines. You have to know which work has to be prioritized first, and maintain other schedules to be on track.

  • Networking skills

Event coordinators are experts in terms of networking. This skill is needed to engage with clients and to invite attendants to join an event, so they are experienced in discovering ways to make people feel excited about the event. Nowadays, the most popular way to engage with people is through digital outreach, such as social media networks. They can help the event planner to build community engagement and professional relationships with the clients.

  • Computer skills

Depending on the technology application used by the company you’re working for, event planners in general will need technical skills. These days, a lot of professionals are reaching new markets and growing audiences by using online networking, chat messaging, or social media engagement. Investing yourself to own this skill will be useful, especially if you plan to have a long-term career in this field.

Average Event Planning Salary Based on Experience

Considering that this profession requires a wide range of qualifications, how much do event planners make in actual? According to the data in 2018 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average yearly salary for event planners sits at $49,370. The yearly salary of top the 10% in this profession is $84,900, while the bottom 10%’s is $27,560.

That being said, how much experience you have can affect your salary greatly. Here is the list of events coordinator salary according to level of experience:

  • Entry-level: Event planners with experience less than a year may expect to earn an annual salary of $39,000. This figure includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay.
  • Early career: Event planners with experience of 1 to 4 years may expect to earn an annual salary of $47,000.
  • Mid-career: Event planners with experience of 5 to 9 years may expect to earn an annual salary of $54,000.
  • Experienced: Event planners with experience of 10 to 19 years may expect to earn an annual salary of $57,000.
  • Late-career: Event planners with experience of more than 20 years may expect to earn an annual salary of $62,000.

The Average Event Coordinator Salary Hourly and Annually

Event coordinators work professionally to make sure that an event can run smoothly, by ensuring everything goes as planned. They are involved in nearly every aspect of the event, from the initial phase of planning to the concluding part post-event. The coordinators work similarly and oftentimes alongside with the event planner to find and secure location, arrange budgets, and lead the staff.

In the United States, the event coordinator salary on average is $43,000 per year and $16.6 per hour. These figures are collected from more than 2,200 salaries of event coordinators across the country.

The Average Event Manager Salary Hourly and Annually

Event manager’s job descriptions include managing, coordinating, implementing, and planning events. The type and scale of the event they handle can vary, but generally include conventions, ceremonies, festivals, fundraisers, ceremonies, fundraisers, concerts, and many more. They also schedule and arrange the accommodation such as transportation, catering, venue, and entertainment when needed.

In the United States, the event manager salary on average is $49,000 per year and $20.6 per hour. On average, they also receive profit sharing of $5,000 per year. These figures are collected from more than 1,300 salaries of event managers across the country.

The Average Director of Events Salary Hourly and Annually

Director of events is responsible for mobilizing, organizing, and coordinating everyone related to the events, such as participants, administrators, officials, and staff. Event director is someone who is in charge of event’s development. This individual is also commonly put as the event’s representative, meaning the person has to deal with the external parts of the events, such as media who want to cover the event and the sponsors.

In the United States, the director of events salary on average is $58,000 per year and $25.0 per hour. On average, they also receive tips of $250 per day. These figures are collected from more than 470 salaries of event directors across the country.

The Future of Event Planning Job Salary

The profession of event planner along with special events coordinator salary is expected to raise 7% from 2018 to 2028, according to the data by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Currently, there are more than 130,000 event planners in the U.S., and it is expected to increase by 10,000 in the next decade.

If you are interested in building a career in event planning, then it is recommended by the BLS to pursue a bachelor’s degree in related major. For event planners, certification is not necessarily crucial, but having credentials such as Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) may improve your credibility and raise your chance to land a job, as well as the opportunity to gain a higher salary.

In the future, as technology will be involved more and more in various professional fields, it is also a good idea to improve your grasp of technology. This can make a good qualification within your resume, which in turn, can increase your chance in receiving the higher side of the event planner salary range.

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