How Much Do Event Planners Make?

Updated January 26, 2023

Researching the best methods to enhance your salary within your profession can lead to you achieving a higher pay scale. By taking the time to review the average salary expectations within your industry, and how to expand your qualifications, you can enhance your salary and expertise as an event planner.

In this article, we will review the average salary expectations of an event planner, the highest paying states for the profession, its job outlook, how to improve your salary expectations, related job positions and additional questions about event planning.

Related: Learn About Being an Event Planner

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How much do event planners make?

An event planner can make an average of $16.07 per hour, or an equivalent of around $ 33,000 per year. However, this average can vary depending on clientele, event types and hours worked to see an event through to completion.

Related: Event Planner Cover Letter Sample

Highest event planner salaries by state

The following section will review ten states that offer the highest salaries for event planners.

  1. Virginia: $9.88 per hour

  2. Washington: $17.23 per hour

  3. Hawaii: $17.36 per hour

  4. New Jersey: $17.50 per hour

  5. Massachusetts: $17.85 per hour

  6. District of Columbia: $18.50 per hour

  7. Pennsylvania: $41,225 per year

  8. California: $20.83 per hour

  9. Texas: $43,824 per year

  10. New York: $51,407 per year

Related: Best Self-Employed Jobs

Job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the event planning profession is expected to increase by 7% by 2028. There are currently around $134,000 event planners working in the United States and these employment figures are expected to rise by $10,000 within the next ten years.

The (BLS) recommends that those considering a career as an event planner pursue a bachelor's degree in a related field and that the best areas for employment lie outside of the corporate realm, as economic downturns can cause a lull in additional company activities.

Related: Learn About Being a Program Coordinator

How to increase an event planner salary

The following section will review how you can maximize your earning potential as an event planner.

1. Consider earning a bachelor's degree

To gain a competitive edge over competitors, consider pursuing a four-year Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality, Communication, Event Planning or Tourism Management. A collegial degree could make the difference in whether or not you are hired by an event planning company, or whether or not a client decides to enlist your personal services.

2. Earn relevant certifications

Certifications can be impactful on your event planner resume. It is also something you can include on your website, social media, business cards or advertisements. A few certifications that can be beneficial to event planners include certified conference and events professional (CCEP) or certified professional in catering and events (CPCE). These certifications could help justify your pricing and rates for expenses to clients.

3. Research fee rates for your area

Especially if you are considering starting your own event planning service, you should review the pricing that your local competitors offer to their clients. You can further compare these figures to state data to determine the best competitive pricing for your services.

4. Gain industry experience

The more experience you have as an event planner could potentially impact a client's willingness to pay for you to plan their party, wedding or meeting. If you have multiple years of experience working in the industry, this could help you justify your higher pricing as it implies that you have valuable industry experience and connections.

5. Use the cost-plus method for fees

The cost-plus method is an effective way to ensure that the services you provide for your clients are adequately accounted for in the amount of pay you receive for each aspect of preparation, coordination and cleanup. Calculate the total amount of expense that was needed to execute the event and then charge the client between ten to twenty percent of the total.

Related: How to Develop Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

Related jobs

The following list reviews related job positions with similar skills and responsibilities to event planning.

1. Travel agent

National average salary: $43,182 per year

Primary duties: A travel agent helps clients plan trips to desired destinations. They listen to their clients' needs in terms of pricing, location and possible activities and research the best options for them. They coordinate with their clients to create a scheduled itinerary for their trip, booking transportation, hotel rooms and other reservations so that they do not have to.

2. Program coordinator

National average salary: $43,901 per year

Primary duties: A program coordinator is responsible for helping an organization establish a budget, agenda and personnel for a particular program or initiative on the internal level. They work in the human resources and administrative departments within an organization.

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The following section will address a few additional questions that may be important to understanding the profession.

1. What skills do you need to be an event planner?

An event planner needs a variety of skills to create events that are tailored to their clients' visions. The following skills are typically needed by event planners.


Event planners need to have superb organizational skills to keep track of multiple event projects at the same time while still staying on track. They will need to monitor the amount of time needed for preparation and make sure that all the materials for the event are ready ahead of schedule.


Event planning might entail a lot of last-minute issues or changes revolving around an upcoming event. Event planners should be able to adapt to misfortune and provide solutions that will still satisfy the needs of their clients.


An event planner should have great communication skills to coordinate between vendors, venues and their clients to create an event that will make their clients happy.


Regardless of the event type, an event planner should have a creative mindset that allows them to come up with aesthetically-pleasing decorations, themes and color schemes. They should also be able to come up with creative solutions to venue-specific problems.

2. What are the different types of event planning?

There is a multitude of events that event planners can cater to. Event planning can serve as an umbrella term for wedding planners, private event planners, corporate event planners, meeting planners or convention planners. As an event planner, you can specialize in one or several of the above event types.

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