2019 Event Planner’s Salary: How Much Should You Be Making?
Before launching yourself head-first into any career, you’re probably wondering how much you can realistically make. When it comes to an event planning career, the amount of money you earn will depend on a number of different factors such as the services you offer, the events you work, and the amount (in years) of experience you have.
If you’re offering full-service wedding planning and have 10 years of experience, you can bet you’ll earn more than a partial-service wedding coordinator who’s new to the industry.
Evidently, researching salaries can be quite difficult. Luckily, we’ve put together a helpful guide to give you a better sense of how much you should be making. Read on!
The biggest factors that will affect your event planner salary
There are several different factors to consider when pricing your services and understanding how much you should be compensated as certified event planner. The biggest considerations are as follows:
1. How much event planning training do you have? Not only is an event planning certificate an excellent way to set yourself apart as an event planner, but it will also increase your worth in the eyes of employers and potential clients.
2. What’s your level of event planning experience? Experience is a huge factor. The more experience evident in your resume and event planner portfolio, the more faith your clients will have in your capabilities (and the more your salary potential will increase).
3. How many clients do you have? The higher your demand, the higher the price you can charge for your services. Occasionally take time to re-evaluate how much you’re charging – your salary could increase way more (and way faster) than you expect!
4. Where do you live? Where you live can make a massive difference in your pay. Think about it this way, you won’t encounter many luxury wedding planning clients as a wedding planner from a small town. But even if you lived in a bustling urban center, the salary range would differ between cities due to their respective events industry climate. According to the Event Manager Blog (2019), an event planner working in New York City makes and average of $75,659. Meanwhile, an event planner living in London, England would make around £28,784. Even if you were to convert the average London salary to US dollars, it wouldn’t be the same.
Research your competition
When you decided to become an event planner, you likely did some preliminary research for a basic understanding of what your salary would be. Why pursue a career that won’t provide you with a good living?
While this surface-level research is helpful, it’s time to dig deep and really know what your salary should look like. Take some time to make a list of the competitors in your area, obtain their price lists, note which services they offer, and their years of experience/education. The last thing you want to do is overcharge or undercharge your planning services, as this will have a negative effect on your business reputation. Charge too low a rate and you risk undervaluing yourself and your talents. Overcharge, and potential clients will look elsewhere for a better price.
Once this research is complete, you’ll have a much better sense of your competition, what you should be charging for your services, and ultimately what you can expect from an event planner’s salary. It’s also important to think about the type of clients you want to have as an event planner – obviously, if a high salary is important to you, consider luxury wedding planning or working for a big corporation. These positions offer higher salaries and work with bigger event budgets.
Your event planning services
Event and wedding planners need to value their time and services above all else. In addition to knowing what you’re worth and charging accordingly, you also need to package your services so they appeal to clients. When it comes to packages, there are a few things to keep in mind…
- Full services: Whether you’re focused on wedding planning or event planning in general, offering full-service planning packages means you’re in charge of every detail. While this will undoubtedly be profitable (a certified wedding planner with a few years’ experience can expect to make about $2,250 on a $15,000 USD per wedding), you’ll also face some serious demands as you plan a full wedding. According to expert Dr. Joe Goldblatt, wedding planners generally charge their clients about 15% of the total cost of the event, and you can gauge your fee higher or lower than the average (but you still want to remain competitive!).
- Partial services: Partial planning will generally result in a lower salary than full-service planning. But you can still make good profits if you know how to book your event planner jobs well. One huge advantage of offering partial services is that you’ll have more time. If you’re running a party planning business or a wedding planning business, you’re free to take on as many clients as you like! The typical hourly wage for a planner running their own business lies between $50.00 and $75.00, and you can pro-rate your hourly fee in 30-minute intervals (this is actually a common standard, so many clients will already know about it).
- Corporate events: Although wedding planning is one of the most common paths for planners, you can go a different route and choose to plan corporate events instead. Corporate event planning is both dynamic and profitable – as the planner, you can charge a percentage of the total event cost, or you could work out an hourly wage based on the amount of work you’re doing and the event budget. Just to give you an idea of the cost per person, a corporate event generally costs $150-$200 to attend, and if 500 guests show up, this creates a total revenue of $75,000 – some of which will be yours!
Your event planner salary
With all the factors mentioned above at play, it’s easy to see why determining your salary as a planner is no easy task! In general, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a wedding planner is $44,260. Meanwhile, the average salary for a corporate event planner is $48,290. This number can fluctuate very easily based on the event itself, the amount of guests, and your own experience and education.
Knowing which type of services you want to offer, as well as your competition, will allow you to make the best possible decisions as a planner, and ultimately make the salary you deserve!