Many companies and individuals often lack the patience, time and skills required to plan special events themselves. Events planners, also called event coordinators, earn a good living managing the details of meetings and special events. They typically possess the requisite knowledge and other attributes required to carry out all types of occasions from start to finish. Many event planners start their careers working for large companies or in some specific area of special occasions, such as catering and wedding planning. Some planners move on to start their own event planning companies.
Events planners' earnings are based upon a variety of factors, including years of experience, level of education, the type of events they specialise in, whether they work for a large or small company and their location. The median average income for event coordinators ranged from £30,294 to £42,116 in April 2009, according to Salary.com statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that large event planning firms, like large hotels and resorts, often give hiring preference to job candidates who have both formal training and work experience.
Most event coordinators are graduates of bachelor degree programs. Generally, planners who possess a higher level of formal education tend to command a higher salary. Graduates of bachelor degree programs earned from £22,919 to £25,149. The focus of their degree determines the salary level. Graduates of master degree programs enhance their earning potential and go on to become top-level managers, directors and CEOs in the event planning industry.
The event planning industry, like most professions, pay a higher salary for employees with proven knowledge and skills. Individuals just starting out and with less than a year of experience under their belts earned £20,571 annually. Professionals with 1 to 4 years of experience earned £22,724. Planners with 5 to 9 years in the field earned £26,923. The median salary for coordinators with 10 or more years of experience was £29,669
Coordinators working for private firms tend to fare better when it comes to their pay. The salary for these workers was £28,065. Planners who worked at hospital facilities average a salary of £27,006. Federal government employees took home an average pay of £26,153. The companies paying the lowest salaries were franchises at £21,026 and colleges and universities that paid an average salary of £22,700.
The earnings for event coordinators who worked for larger employers are higher than average. The Payscale.com June 2009 salary survey shows that pay increases relative to the size of the organisation. Firms employing 20,000 or more workers paid coordinators a median average salary of £32,023. Event planners working for companies with 5,000-19,000 employees made a yearly average income of £29,590. Smaller employers tend to offer lower salaries. Organizations consisting of one to nine workers paid an average of £22,206 per year.
Event planners often develop their skills and reputation working for established event planning firms. Eventually, some become entrepreneurs and start their own event planning firms. The money these small business owners can earn depends on factors like overhead and location.
Entrepreneur.com conducted an analysis of the start-up costs and expected gross income for two event planning businesses. The home-based, one-person company gross was £50,700 per year. For a more high-end operation, which consists of a 500-square-foot office, a part-time planner and a book-keeper, the gross income was estimated at £120,250. Self-employed event planners earned an average salary of £25,659 in June 2009.
The region of the country is also a determining factor that influences how much an event planner can earn. Coordinators working in New York City are the best paid at £28,379 per year, followed closely by Los Angeles at £27, 456. The typical worker in San Diego earned £26,708 per year. In the Midwest, Chicago event planners made £24,148. Salaries are generally lower in the South. Event planners working in the city of Atlanta earned an average salary of £23,345.