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January 04 2013

Meeting Planning vs. 99 Other Jobs

By Kelly Peacy, Senior Vice President, Education and Meetings

What do a landscaper, a substance abuse counselor and an elementary school teacher have in common? They all ranked above meeting planners in the US News 100 Best Jobs of 2013.

Based on hiring forecasts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and a range of factors including stress level, work-life balance and median salary, the role of meeting, convention and event planner clocked in at number 66 out of the 100 jobs on the list. US News estimates the median salary for planners at $46,020, but it wasn’t just money that made meeting planning stand out for the annual survey. The report cites a bright future as one of the primary reasons for earning a spot on the list; the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 31,300 additional jobs for planners between 2010 and 2020.

Why Isn’t the Position Higher?

With such strong predictions for growth, what keeps the role of meeting planner in the bottom half of the rankings? As any meeting planner can attest, the logistics of face-to-face experiences can cause serious headaches both on-site and off. The US News report took those headaches into consideration, indicating that the stress level for planners is above average.

Where Can Planners Make the Most Money?

Head to the Northeast. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, planners in these five areas are the highest-paid in the industry:

  • Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Newark, New Jersey

However, planners don’t have to relocate to earn more. Earning the CMP designation can provide a big boost in compensation - wherever you call home.

Find out more about what US News has to say about being a meeting planner with a perspective from Mike Shea, executive director, SXSW, here

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