Event planners coordinate meetings, conferences, dinners and other gatherings. They meet with the personnel or organization planning the event and work out the logistics, from preparation to booking vendors to working on-site at the event to ensure everything goes smoothly. Whether they plan luxurious weddings or horror movie conventions, they must be organized and efficient at all times. However, their salaries may vary depending on the particular type of work they do.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for event planners was $49,840, or $23.96 an hour, as of May 2011. The bureau reported 64,020 of these planners employed nationwide. The best-paid 10 percent earned $78,530 or more, the equivalent of $37.75 an hour. The top 25 percent made $60,100 or more, equal to $28.90 an hour. On the other hand, the lowest-paid 25 percent made $35,470 or less, the equivalent of $17.05 an hour, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made $27,410 or less, equal to $13.18 an hour.
Most Common Industries:
Event planners often found work either at convention venues or with the companies that utilize them. The 7,920 planners working in the traveler accommodation industry, such as hotel/convention centers, earned an average of $45,560 a year, or $21.90 an hour. The 7,790 planners working in the business and professional organization industry, such as associations that hold conferences, averaged $54,020, or $25.97 an hour.
Event planners who worked in specialized industries had the potential to make the highest salaries. For instance, even though only 40 planners worked for investment pools, they earned an average of $93,640 a year. Likewise, the 80 planners working for landline telecommunications companies averaged $68,360 a year and the 120 working in the credit card industry averaged $67,640.
The bureau reports that event planning is anticipated to see 44 percent job growth between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the overall average for all careers. As businesses and other organizations grow and expand into new markets and new countries, the need for meetings and conferences will increase proportionately. This should require the logistical services of event planners, as growth will also demand efficiencies that professional planners can provide.