It’s a vital question that needs to be asked of any professional role you pursue – what kind of salary can you expect to make? When it comes to an event planning career, the amount of money you’ll earn is dependent on a number of different factors such as the services you offer, the events you’re working on, and how many years’ experience you have.
Offering full wedding planning services and having experience under your belt will result in a higher salary than, say, a wedding planner who offers partial planning services and is relatively new to the industry.
Because it can be difficult to understand what salary to expect as an event planner, we’ve put together a helpful guide to give you a better sense of how much you should be making. Read on!
The big considerations
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 training do you have? Not only is an event planning certificate an excellent way to set yourself apart as an event planner, it will also increase your worth in the eyes of employers and potential clients. Find out how to boost your salary with event planner training!
2. What’s your level of event planning experience? Experience is a huge factor, as the more you can put on a resume and in your 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? This is an important point to be aware of, as your client base will dictate how much you charge for your services. If you find that your event planning services are becoming more in-demand, you can take some time to re-evaluate how much you’re charging – your salary could increase way more than you expected!
Do your research
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, now 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.
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 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: Although partial planning will generally result in a lower salary than full-service planning, you can still make good profits if you know how to organize your event jobs (and your time). 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).
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 results in a profit 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 Labour Statistics reports that the average salary for a wedding planner is $44,260. 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!