How to Become a Party Planner
Party Planner Careers & Degrees

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Party Planners are experienced in planning events for a variety of purposes including meetings, private parties, conventions or fundraisers.

Individuals in this profession can work in one of these specialized areas or be experienced in planning all types of events.

Individuals who want to become a Party Planner will need a combination of skills and education.

Some helpful personal characteristics include: being detail oriented and organized, negotiation and interpersonal skill as well as being able to remain composed on the day of the event.

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Education Requirements to Become a Party Planner

Individuals who want to become a Party Planner are not required to have a postsecondary degree; however, many employers seek candidates who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, individuals who want to enter this field will have better opportunities if they become certified and have several years of experience in the field.

Individuals who want to become a Party Planner are encouraged to complete a bachelor’s in hospitality or tourism to enter this profession.

Other helpful degrees include: business, communications, marketing or public relations.

Individuals who complete a different degree still have the opportunity to enter this field; however, they are encouraged to gain on the job experience in the field to add onto their resume.

Individuals who complete a hospitality management degree will have more responsibilities when they first enter the field when compared to individuals who completed a different degree.

This is due to the fact that they gained the skills and knowledge necessary when completing their bachelor’s degree.

Although not required, a certification in event planning will improve job prospects for some individuals.

Many certifications are offered for meeting and convention planners.

Individuals can visit CMP to learn more information on how to secure a certification as a Certified Meeting Professional.

Party Planner Job Description

Party Planners may work as a sole proprietor or for a company that specializes in events.

Their main goal is to plan and create events for their clients keeping in mind a theme and a set budget.

These professionals may specialize in planning different types of events such as personal parties, company parties, nonprofit fundraisers or company meetings.

Party Planners will first meet with their clients to determine the purpose of the event and their expectations.

Other details will also be discussed including the budget that has been allocated towards the event, the theme and the type of attendee expected at the event.

Party Planners are responsible for all aspects of an event including planning logistics, finding a venue that fits within the price range and within the date ranges expected by their client.

Party Planners will work on writing request for proposals (RFPs) to find the best venue, catering service and other providers such as rental companies for things such as linens or flowers.

Every consideration and bid takes into mind how much money has been used according to the budget and the expectations set forth by the client.

Party Planner Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median salary for Meeting, Convention and Event Planners was approximately $45,810 per year with some individuals earning up to $79,270.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including area of specialization, whether an individual works as a sole proprietor and size of their organization.

Many of these professionals work full time with increased hours of work as an event approaches; in addition, hours may also be irregular as an event approaches.

The job outlook for Meeting, Convention and Event Planners is expected to grow at a faster than average rate when compared to other professions.

There will be an increase in job opportunities for individuals entering this field with a job growth of 33 percent through the year 2022.

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or tourism have the best job prospects.

Individuals who are detailed oriented, like to plan in advance and like a fast paced environment will be a great fit as a Party Planner.

These professionals go through phases of planning that culminate in a fast paced event lasting only a few hours.

With an expected fast job growth and competitive wages, individuals pursuing a trade in this field can find a variety of opportunities planning different types of events.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$54,880
$28K
$37K
$54K
$65K
$86K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$46,840
Alaska$49,460
Arizona$53,010
Arkansas$47,920
California$59,980
Colorado$54,580
Connecticut$61,900
Delaware$52,430
District of Columbia$67,510
Florida$49,400
Georgia$51,330
Hawaii$58,740
Idaho$39,990
Illinois$51,740
Indiana$45,980
Iowa$45,880
Kansas$44,550
Kentucky$42,440
Louisiana$43,730
Maine$48,230
Maryland$55,290
Massachusetts$57,890
Michigan$49,560
Minnesota$52,230
Mississippi$44,560
Missouri$41,700
Montana$46,590
Nebraska$45,980
Nevada$47,650
New Hampshire$50,580
New Jersey$68,590
New Mexico$40,710
New York$69,250
North Carolina$48,200
North Dakota$43,860
Ohio$50,070
Oklahoma$44,330
Oregon$52,650
Pennsylvania$50,860
Rhode Island$62,630
South Carolina$44,180
South Dakota$38,930
Tennessee$51,100
Texas$52,000
Utah$45,380
Vermont$49,330
Virginia$59,650
Washington$62,170
West Virginia$41,630
Wisconsin$48,290
Wyoming$47,660
Guam$49,000
Puerto Rico$27,210

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $69,250.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $69,250
New Jersey - $68,590
District of Columbia - $67,510
Rhode Island - $62,630
Washington - $62,170
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners, OCC Code 13-1121, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat is a party planner?

Party planners organize events such as receptions, weddings, birthday parties and anniversaries.

When designing an event, party planners need to take into account their customers’ budgets and preferences.

They sometimes have to assume all responsibilities for planning a party, including ordering the food and sending invitations.

Party planners need creativity and a good eye for design, but also business and communication skills.

They are usually employed by an event planning company but they may also run their own business.

Organizational and negotiation skills are also important if you want to start a career in this field.

QuestionHow much does a party planner make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for event planners, in general, was $49,370, as of May 2018.

How much an event planner actually makes depends on the region and their field of employment.

Those employed in the arts, management and recreation field made around $42,000 a year in May 2018.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a party planner?

There are no formal educational requirements for party planners but holding a degree in hospitality management, design or business may help you join this profession.

Four-year bachelor’s degree programs in business cost, on average, between $120,000-$140,000.

Earning a master’s degree in hospitality management can cost you anywhere between $10,000 and $90,000, depending on the school and program you choose.

Some organizations also offer certification for party planners, and these types of credentials can help you find employment or start a business in the party planning field.

For example, the Events Industry Council offers a Certified Meeting Professional credential.

The American Association of Certified Wedding Planner (AACWP) also offers voluntary certification.

AACWP certified wedding planners need to pay an annual fee of $195.

QuestionWhat is the demand for party planner?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for event planners, in general, is expected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028.

As businesses and organizations continue to host events and parties, the demand for event and party planners should grow in the future.

Competition is expected to be strong and holding a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in the field may give you better job prospects.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a party planner?

There are no formal educational requirements for party planners, but a four-year bachelor’s degree in business, art or hospitality management can help you start a career in this field

A two-year master’s degree program in hospitality may also increase your job prospects.

Seeking certification from the Events Industry Council, the Society of Government Meeting Professionals or the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners will help you demonstrate your skills to potential clients or employers.

Having some experience in the hospitality field may also help you start a career in party planning.

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