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How Much Does Event Planning & Management School Cost?

Event Planning & Management School Prices

Event planners are responsible for the logistics of weddings, fashion shows, corporate meetings, and other social events both large and small. From choosing an event location to organizing catering and guest speakers to booking hotel rooms for attendees, event planners coordinate all aspects and details of professional events and meetings.

An event planner may be self-employed or work for a private company such as a hotel, bridal boutique, or event service firm. A bachelor's degree isn't necessary to work in the field but is increasingly preferred by employers. Professional certification is offered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC).

Event Planning and Management Considerations

Interested in a career in a career as an event planner? Here's what you should know about this fast-paced and in-demand profession:

Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that meeting, convention, and event planners earn a median annual wage of $45,810 (or $22.00 per hour). BLS figures show that the highest-earners in this profession tend to work for business, professional, labor, and political organizations.

Employment for event planners is expected to grow by 44% between 2010 and 2020 according to BLS. This is a much higher rate of growth than the average for all occupations (14%). Increased demand for event planners can be attributed to the importance of meetings and conventions to international firms, which often only bring members together during special events.

Becoming an Event Planner

A number of schools now offer a bachelor's degree in meeting and event planning/management. Often, these programs are run through an institution's hospitality management or tourism school. Related fields that may improve employment prospects include business, communications, marketing, and public relations. Relevant work experience may be accepted by employers in lieu of a degree, while some employers prefer both a degree and work experience.

An associate's degree in meeting and event management is available from some schools. There are also event planning certificate programs. Those who earn a bachelor's degree have the option of going on to pursue a master's degree in event planning/management or hospitality management.

Event planners interested in having their professional credentials formally recognized can take part in the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program. This voluntary certification of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) requires professional experience and a written examination. Learn more about the CMP program by reading this brochure.

Event Planning and Management School Average Costs

  • The U.S. Department of Education puts the average cost of a public four-year institution (including tuition, fees, and room and board) at $15,100 per year. For private four-year institutions, costs jump to $32,900 per year. Public two-year institutions (i.e. community colleges) cost $2,900 per year (excluding room and board).
  • Master degree programs vary widely in cost. Expect to pay at least $15,000 to $25,000 (tuition only) and as much as $30,000 to $50,000 or more depending on the school.
  • A certificate program in event planning might cost $1,000 to $4,000 based on how comprehensive the program is.
  • CMP program fees include an application fee ($250) and an exam registration fee ($450).
  • Financial aid is available to help pay for school. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Education federal student aid website.

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