What is the Typical Event Planner Salary?

No other question strikes fear in the hearts of professionals than “How much money do you make?” It’s probably rare – if ever – that anyone has ever even dared to ask you that. And if someone does ask you, what are you supposed to say? Do you lie and try to make it sound better than it is? Or do you tell the truth and risk someone seriously judging your current situation? And how are you ever supposed to know how your salary stacks up if no one ever talks about it?

Well take a deep breath and allow your blood pressure to return to normal because we have good news. We did the work for you and asked a bunch of anonymous event planners how much money they make, the results of which we’ve crafted into a handy infographic for your consumption. We have arrived at an average event planner salary.

But here’s the crazy part – only 14% of you said you were “very happy” with the way things are going. So what gives?

Who we surveyed

We solicited responses from folks just like you – readers of this blog and Liz King Events’ techsytalk blog – and asked them various questions to get to the bottom of the typical event planner salary and how event planners feel about their pay. We ended up with quite the range of age, experience level and education backgrounds – plus we saw just how broad the term “event planner” can be with a ton of unique job titles.

Now take a look for yourself and all will be revealed!

guidebook techsytalk event planner salary infographic
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<a href="http://guidebook.com/mobile-guides/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/guidebook-techsytalk-event-planner-salary-infographic.png"><img alt="Event Planner Salary Infographic" src="http://guidebook.com/mobile-guides/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/guidebook-techsytalk-event-planner-salary-infographic.png" width="600px" border="0" /></a>

What we learned about the typical event planner salary

Happiness

Beyond just learning how much money event planners make, we wanted to understand how they felt about the money they’re making. Are you happy, frustrated, indifferent?

It turns out that happiness can depend on more than just the amount of money you’re making. Interestingly, we found that event planners were happiest with their salaries between the ages of 40 and 55. They were much less so between the ages of 26 and 30 and after age 55. It seems as though there’s a bit of frustration leading up to what many would consider an experience salary range, a period of satisfaction when you reach your goal, and then some late-career dissatisfaction.

We also saw that people making money in the range just above the average current salary ($65,000-$80,000) felt the most fulfilled in their careers, while planners making over $100,000 felt significantly less fulfilled. It does, after all, seem true that money can only contribute to your happiness so much.

One of our most surprising findings was that 60% told us the next step in their career is not clearly defined. This may be a result of how diverse the general term of event planner can be, and often times event planners are shouldering several core responsibilities within their organization.

A note about education

It was interesting to note that only 18% of our respondents gave us a definite “Yes” when we asked if it was necessary to go to college to become an event planner. Almost half of the group said “No” and another 34% said it depends on the job.

We gave respondents a chance to clarify, and many told us that event planning takes skills that are oftentimes learned on the job and not in the classroom. Here are a few of the responses:

  • “There are some things that having a college-level education is really useful for: writing, computing, time-management… these are skills I learned in college, but were not classes.”

  • “I don’t believe you have to take specific classes about being an event planner to be a great event planner. I do believe that your involvement in college, the networking and opportunities you can take advantage of is very beneficial.”

  • “Many personal skills are learned at college, however to execute an event requires more of a certain personality than a degree.”

  • “I have a GREAT deal of life experience, which boosts my value beyond what a degree would ever create.”

Salary

Here we are – the main event. The final word was that the average event planning salary comes in at $63,023. Event planners saw their pay go up about 25% every 10 years and experience plays a major role in pay grade.

We divided our sample set into 10-year increments of experience, and also calculated average salaries for each group in order to provide a more accurate window based on years in the business.

Parting thoughts

While it’s hard to summarize any one person’s career with a set of statistics, the responses we got made one thing clear – event planners are a largely diverse group with many different backgrounds and sets of experiences. And when we asked what you would be if you weren’t event planners, we also found that you’re a highly creative bunch. We’ll leave you with a few of our favorites:

  • “Rich!”

  • “I’d lay on the grass with a bunch of three-month-old puppies. But if you mean for money? Lay on the grass with a bunch of three-month-old puppies and take a nap after lots of snuzzles.”

  • “An FBI agent”

  • “Interior designer, actress, or famous person’s assistant or chief of staff.”

  • “A photographer for national geographic or an ambassador”

  • “Impressionist painter”

  • “Bored!”

Looking to increase your marketability and mastery of the event planning world to further your career? Download the Modern Event Planning eBook by clicking below!

modern event planning ebook

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