What Is the Average Salary for Entry-Level Event Coordinator Jobs?

If you are interested in a fast-paced career and if you love throwing parties, you might consider becoming an event coordinator. These workers are employable in a number of industries, such as wedding, hospitality, business and politics. Read on to find out how salaries differ by experience, location, and employer. Schools offering Hospitality Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Your first job as an event coordinator will likely be working closely with an experienced event coordinator or manager. You may be asked to plan smaller events or perform one task for a larger event as you learn on the job. Once you gain experience, you'll likely be able to begin planning events on your own.

As the main event coordinator, you will be responsible for organizing and deciding every detail of the event, such as the venue, food, theme, decor and entertainment. You'll also be in charge of budgeting, marketing and negotiating. You may have the opportunity to plan a wide variety of events, including business parties, weddings, association conventions and political fundraisers.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 33% (for all meeting, convention, and event planners)
Key Skills Communication, customer-service, organizational skills; ability to work with and negotiate with others
Work Environment Office setting with some work at meeting locations
Similar Occupations Food service manager, lodging manager, travel agent, administration services manager

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average Salary Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), meeting, convention and event planners of all experience levels made an average salary of $50,910 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Salaries ranged from $25,940 or less for the bottom 10% of workers to $82,060 or more for the top 10% of workers.

How much you can earn as an entry-level event coordinator will depend on a variety of factors. In general, PayScale.com reports that coordinators with 0-5 years of experience earned a median of $36,419 per year, as reported in September 2015.

Salary by Experience

Whether you work for a company or work for yourself, accumulation of experience can translate in salary increases over time. PayScale.com reported in September 2015 that most event coordinators with 5-10 years of experience made median salaries of $41,145 per year. Once you have three years of experience as an event coordinator, you can take the Convention Industry Council's exam to become a Certified Meeting Professional, which may allow you to justify a higher salary or fee.

Salary by Industry

According to May 2014 data from the BLS, a large number of meeting, convention and event planners were employed in the traveler accommodation industry and averaged $47,540 per year. Business, political and labor organizations were also big employers, and planners in those organizations averaged $56,660 per year.

The workers making the highest average pay were employed in industries with much lower employment levels, including aerospace product and parts manufacturing ($83,560), securities and commodity contracts brokerages ($74,340), and oil and gas extraction ($73,110).

Salary by Location

Another factor that will determine your salary is your location. According to the BLS, metro areas where meeting, convention and event planners reported high average salaries in May 2014 included the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT, metro area ($69,740) and the Nassau-Suffolk, NY, metro area ($67,140).

The BLS reported that the five top-paying states for these workers were the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia; average salaries for workers in these states ranged from $57,910-$68,000. Low-paying states included West Virginia, Louisiana, Nebraska, Mississippi and Kentucky; workers in such states averaged $27,230-$42,310.

Education Requirements

Although most of your experience will be gained on the job, a bachelor's degree is typically a desirable asset. You might consider a bachelor's degree in marketing, hospitality management, public relations or communication. If you hold a degree in an unrelated field, you may be required to have at least a couple years of experience in order to be employed.

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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