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Event Planner Salary in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

The average base salary for an Event Planner in the United States is a month or $62,280 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Average Event Planner Base Salary:

What can I earn as an Event Planner?Your salary is 0 the US national average
$29.94
$29.94
29.94

How Much Does an Event Planner Make in the United States?

The average wage for an Event Planner is $29.94 per hour.

Some Event Planners can earn as little as $16.54 (10th percentile) per hour, while others may earn as much as $47.60 (90th percentile) per hour.

[Source: BLS]

This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data. 

If you’re in the 90th percentile, you earn more than 90% of all the Event Planners in the U.S. Meanwhile, if you’re in the 10th percentile, you earn less than 90% of the group.

Annual Mean Wage of Event Planners by State

The annual salary of Event Planners can vary significantly across the United States. One of the factors contributing to this variance is the cost of living.

For example, Event Planners working in New York, which has one of the highest costs of living in the United States, earn significantly higher salaries than those living in West Virginia, which has one of the lowest costs of living.

Explore the map below to understand better the differences in an Event Planner’s earning potential.

[Source: BLS]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

Factors That Affect Average Event Planner Salary

Aside from the cost of living, an Event Planner’s salary is also influenced by the industry they’re employed in, their level of experience and the nature of the event they’re organizing.

Type of Industry

According to BLS data, “Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing,” “Software Publishers” and “Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing” are among the highest-paying industries for Event Planners.

These industries frequently introduce new products or technologies that require impactful promotional events to engage stakeholders and drive sales. This demand naturally results in higher salary offers for skilled Event Planners.

Here’s the complete list of the top-paying industries for Event Planners.

[Source: BLS]

This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data. 

Type of Event

Event Planners working on large-scale conferences, international athletic competitions and music festivals can negotiate higher wages due to the challenges involved in logistical planning, vendor management and coordination.

Similarly, Event Planners organizing fundraising events can negotiate for higher salaries, as such events require specialized knowledge and skills, including fundraising strategies, donor relations and grant writing.

Level of Experience

Clients prefer individuals with a proven track record. Therefore, more experienced Event Planners receive a relatively higher salary than those who are just starting in the industry.

Whether you’re experienced or new to event planning, it’s worth looking into certification programs.

Certification Organization Description
Certified Meeting Professional Events Industry Council Aims to validate Event Planners’ expertise in event planning, execution and management
Certified Special Events Professional International Live Events Association Acknowledges event professionals who have shown they possess the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to handle all aspects of an event
Certified Professional in Catering & Events National Association for Catering & Events Focuses on event production, sales and operations

These certifications aim to enhance your skills and qualifications, which can build your credibility in the industry and empower you to negotiate higher wages.

Event Planner Salary in Major US Cities

Among these four major U.S. cities, New York City is the top-paying city for Event Planners followed by Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Miami

Annual mean wage

$69,240

# of employees

2,100

New York City

Annual mean wage

$87,310

# of employees

9,400

Chicago

Annual mean wage

$65,060

# of employees

4,240

Los Angeles

Annual mean wage

$67,360

# of employees

5,880

[Source: BLS]

High-Paying Cities for Event Planners

CityAvg SalaryAvg Hourly Wage
Miami, FL69,24033.29
Los Angeles, CA67,36032.38
NYC, NY87,31041.98
Chicago, IL65,06028.38

Average Event Planner Salary by State

Event Planners in New York, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia enjoy higher earning potential compared to those in regions such as West Virginia, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Explore the table below to see the average Event Planner salary by state.

StateAvg. Salary
Alabama$51,070
Alaska$48,460
Arizona$54,010
Arkansas$51,640
California$69,280
Colorado$63,570
Connecticut$71,650
Delaware$57,820
Florida$63,800
Georgia$52,210
Hawaii$70,880
Idaho$49,500
Illinois$63,480
Indiana$54,230
Iowa$53,130
Kansas$54,300
Kentucky$49,190
Louisiana$56,210
Maine$54,470
Maryland$61,840
Massachusetts$77,720
Michigan$52,530
Minnesota$57,530
Mississippi$41,040
Missouri$53,540
Montana$51,130
Nebraska$56,350
Nevada$59,570
New Hampshire$57,990
New Jersey$73,440
New Mexico$48,100
New York$83,160
North Carolina$57,810
North Dakota$52,420
Ohio$55,610
Oklahoma$45,830
Oregon$60,410
Pennsylvania$56,210
Rhode Island$54,500
South Carolina$49,980
South Dakota$46,970
Tennessee$50,460
Texas$52,090
Utah$53,500
Vermont$62,210
Virginia$64,180
Washington$67,230
West Virginia$39,840
Wisconsin$53,960
Wyoming$54,950
District of Columbia$76,100

Non-Monetary Benefits and Perks for Event Planners

Non-monetary benefits and perks are rewards provided to employees on top of their salaries.

As an Event Planner, it’s important to negotiate these benefits to help you achieve a better work-life balance, enhance your overall well-being and maximize your job satisfaction.

Some examples of the most common non-monetary benefits offered to Event Planners include:

Tuition Assistance

According to statistics, U.S. companies, on average, spend $28 billion per year on educational assistance programs, but only 2% of employees use this benefit.

Negotiating for tuition assistance as part of your benefits package and using it is important as it enhances your skills and helps you advance in your career all without incurring personal costs.

401(k)

401(k) is one of the most common investment options U.S. employers use to help employees save for retirement.

As an Event Planner who spends a lot of time at work, it’s crucial to use this benefit to capitalize on compound interest and enjoy flexibility later in life.

Short/Long-Term Disability Insurance

This type of benefit is intended to shoulder a portion of your salary following an illness or injury that prevents you from working.

Short-term disability insurance typically covers you for 3 to 6 months, and you can receive benefits of up to 70% of your monthly income until you’re able to return to work.

Meanwhile, long-term disability insurance generally covers your expenses anywhere from 5 to 20 years, or until your retirement. You can receive benefits of up to 80% of your monthly income.

For Event Planners, having short/long-term disability insurance is important to ensure they can meet their financial obligations during temporary or extended periods of incapacity.

Paid Time Off

Paid time off or PTO covers different kinds of time away from work. This includes sick leave, parental leave, bereavement leave and vacation leave.

According to a Vacation Tracker report, the number of PTO benefits can depend on geographic location.

Employers located in the northeastern part of the country, such as Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, typically offer more PTO days compared to those in southern states like Florida, Maryland and Delaware.

[Source: Vacation Tracker]

This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data. 

 

Employee Assistance Program

An employee assistance program refers to free counseling services provided to employees to promote overall well-being.

These services include counseling for the following:

  • Stress management
  • Career management
  • Family and marital issues
  • Health and mental health issues
  • Financial and legal issues

Access to an employee assistance program is important for Event Planners as it gives them the support and resources they need to thrive in their demanding profession while maintaining their health and well-being.

Top 5 Skills Needed for Event Planners

Event Planners require a diverse set of skills to excel in their profession. These include organization, communication, time management, problem-solving and budgeting skills.

  • Organization: From initial planning to post-event analysis, Event Planners need organizational skills to ensure seamless coordination, efficient resource management and successful execution of every aspect of the event.
  • Communication: Event Planners must have good communication skills so that they can share information clearly, articulate their ideas and establish rapport with clients, vendors and team members.
  • Time management: Time management skills allow Event Planners to meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks and adapt to change efficiently.
  • Problem-solving: Event Planners must be quick to identify and resolve issues to ensure the success of the event.
  • Budgeting: Budgeting skills are important for Event Planners to manage finances and ensure cost-effective planning and successful execution of events within the agreed budget.

Education Requirements for Event Planners

According to a survey conducted by the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a career resource developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, 41% indicated that entry-level Event Planners need to have a Bachelor’s degree.

[Source: O*NET]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

If you’re looking to pursue formal education, these universities provide specialized programs tailored to develop your skills and expertise in event planning.

  • University of Central Florida (UCF): UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management offers a Bachelor’s degree in Event Management and a Master of Science degree in Event Leadership. Both programs aim to prepare students for flourishing careers in the industry by covering foundational concepts in event planning, strategic management and leadership.
  • George Washington University (GWU): GWU provides a flexible professional certificate program designed to equip aspiring Event Planners with the necessary skills to design, plan and execute successful events.
  • Temple University (TU): TU’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management offers a Bachelor’s degree in Event and Entertainment Management, providing students with both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as essential skills and tools for event planning.

How Much Do Similar Careers to an Event Planner Get Paid?

Event Planners earn more than Event Coordinators but less than Event Managers.

Event Planner Career Progression

As Event Planners gain experience and prove their skills, they can advance to higher positions within the event industry.

Event Planner

Event Producer

Avg Salary $ 71,775

Senior Event Planner

Avg Salary $ 80,433

Director of Events

Avg Salary $ 104,434

Event Marketing Director

Avg Salary $ 134, 599

Event Manager

Avg Salary $ 78,729

Senior Event Manager

Avg Salary $ 106,273

Head of Events

Avg Salary $ 115,276

Event Marketing Director

Avg Salary $ 134, 599

Labor Laws and Taxes for Event Planners

As an Event Planner, you need to be aware of the minimum wage, tipped wage credit, overtime pay and leave policies in your state.

Check out the guides below or view more labor laws:

To easily calculate federal, state and local taxes in your state, use our free Paycheck Calculator.

Event Planner Salary FAQs

Receiving bonuses or additional compensation as an Event Planner can vary significantly depending on the type of employment and the specific arrangements with the employer.

Freelance Event Planners generally receive bonuses because their compensation is often tied to their performance and the success of the events they manage

They receive monetary rewards when they meet or exceed specific goals established for the event. These goals may include targets related to fundraising, event attendance numbers or media coverage and publicity.

If you’re working full-time, you can try negotiating a performance bonus as part of your benefits package, as it can increase your overall income and improve job satisfaction.

Yes, there are opportunities for salary growth and career advancement in event planning.

As Event Planners gain experience, pursue certifications and enhance their skills, they may advance into roles with greater responsibilities, such as Director of Events.     They can also advance their careers by venturing into entrepreneurship.

Starting their own event planning business allows them to take on larger projects, work with higher-profile clients and potentially earn significantly higher incomes than they would as employees.

This path requires hard work, patience and dedication, but it offers the potential for substantial growth and financial success in the long run.

Follow these steps to help you negotiate for a salary that matches your expertise.

Research salary ranges: Start by researching salary ranges in your field and location. This ensures your salary expectations are realistic and in line with market standards.

Offer a salary range: Instead of sharing a specific amount, present a salary range. This shows your awareness of market conditions and flexibility, opening the door for negotiation. Ensure your minimum meets industry standards and your financial needs, while your maximum remains aspirational yet reasonable.

Justify your range: Be prepared to justify both ends of your salary range. Highlight your experience, skills, certifications and achievements that contribute to your value as an Event Planner. Provide examples of past successes to strengthen your negotiation position.

Remain flexible: Stay open to negotiation and be willing to adjust your range based on the employer’s feedback. Consider other aspects of the compensation package, such as bonuses and benefits, that add value.

According to the BLS, if you earn an average base salary of $99,010 per year, you earn more than 90% of all Event Planners in the U.S.

However, you can earn even more depending on the industry you work in.  Event Planners working in the “Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing” industry earn an average base salary of $128,350.

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