How Can I Become a Certified Event Planner?

Explore the career requirements for certified event planners. Get the facts about job duties, degree requirements, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Certified Event Planner?

Event planners are hired to organize events by individuals and companies. As planners, they are typically involved in every detail of the event. Some of their responsibilities will likely include meeting with clients to understand the purpose and vision of the event, establishing a budget, and coordinating with service providers like venues and food services. Training to become a certified event planner can occur through a number of college majors. The table below presents an overview of some of the requirements for a career as a certified event planner.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Public relations, hospitality, business, marketing, communications
Key Skills Organization, communication, problem-solving, negotiation, creativity
Certification Voluntary, but may improve career opportunities
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% for all meeting, convention and event planners*
Average Salary (2015) $51,200 for all meeting, convention and event planners*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become a Certified Event Planner?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many employers prefer to hire event planners who have at least a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). A bachelor's degree program in marketing, hospitality management, public relations or communications can provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to get started in the event planning field. You can also gain an understanding of the field prior to entering the workforce by taking part in clubs or organizations at your school.

How Do I Become Certified?

The Convention Industry Council (www.conventionindustry.org) offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. In order to take the CMP exam, you must have experience in the event and meeting planning industry; however, the amount of experience needed is reduced if you hold a bachelor's degree in the field. You also must have completed either an internship or a designated number of continuing education hours.

What Skills Might I Need?

You must have excellent communication and time management skills in order to become a successful event planner. Many of your tasks will require you to communicate your needs and demands clearly. In addition to planning the details of an event, you also need to be sure that each event meets the requirements of the company or client in question. An understanding of business concepts, as well as motivation and a strong work ethic, can help you achieve success in this career.

What is the Job Outlook?

The BLS projected that the number of jobs for meeting, convention and event planners would grow by 10% in the decade 2014-2024, which is faster than average. The bureau also reported that, as of May 2015, meeting, convention and event planners made an average annual wage of $51,200.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You may also be interested in working as a fundraiser. Fundraisers also often plan events and coordinate various campaigns as a way to raise money for different organizations and charities. Fundraisers should generally have a bachelor's degree. Another option is to pursue a career as a lodging manager. Lodging managers run establishments like hotels, motels, and resorts. They are in charge of making sure guests have a pleasant experience and that the facility is well-run and organized. With a high school diploma, you could become a lodging manager, though a bachelor's degree may be preferred.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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