How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in Arkansas
Planning a significantly large event, like a wedding, takes incredible focus and dedication. Aside from coordinating everything from the suppliers to the decorations, you also have to ensure that the program is flowing smoothly. Due to the rising trend of parties and celebrations, professional wedding and event planners continue to be in high demand.
Becoming a successful event planner requires effective communication skills, detailed organization, and the ability to think on one’s feet, among others. It is not easy work, but you’ll undoubtedly be rewarded with a fulfilling and lucrative career.
Requirements in Arkansas
As of this writing, there are no official educational requirements needed to work as an event planner in Arkansas. However, relevant education and first-hand experience in the field are two essential things that would be most helpful in your chosen career path. Before we take a closer look into those, here are several essential skills that event planners should be capable of, regardless of their education and experience:
- The ability to work well and communicate effectively with other people
- A high level of creativity
- Being meticulously detailed
- Excellent organization skills
- Maintaining a calm demeanor even in unexpected situations
- The capacity to make quick and productive decisions
Some university courses such as Hospitality and Event Management, Public Relations, Marketing, Communications and Human Resources can help you hone and develop some of these necessary skills.
Universities and Colleges That Offer Relevant Education in Arkansas
Here, we take a look at multiple schools in Arkansas that offer practical courses to help aspiring event planners prepare for their field. Some colleges and universities and a brief description of each are listed to get you started on your journey:
- The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, AR, offers degrees in Hospitality Management and Public Relations and Marketing.
- Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR, offers degrees in Hospitality Administration, Communication, Marketing, Public Relations and Human Resources.
- NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, AR, offers degrees in Hospitality Management, Communications and Marketing and Public Relations.
- Arkansas State University Beebe in Beebe, AR, offers degrees in Hospitality Administration, Communication, and Marketing and Public Relations.
Apart from these institutions, you can also take several online courses to learn how to be an event planner. Online schools like The QC Event School or the Quincy College Event Planning Program specialize in teaching courses directly related to planning special events like weddings.
Another way to obtain valuable first-hand experience and knowledge is by applying for an internship in a well-established wedding or event planning company near you. It’s always a good idea to try out the profession first to see if it’s a good fit for you before jumping headfirst into the field.
Salary and Career Growth of Wedding and Event Planners
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Meeting, convention and event planners in Arkansas make an average hourly wage of $24.45, amounting to $50,850 a year. This amount is roughly the same as the country’s average hourly earnings of $24.79. Higher-earning planners, however, can make up to $49.44 per hour.
As of this writing, there are an estimated 490 convention and event planners employed in the state of Arkansas. The average long-term (2019 to 2029) growth rate for event planners is at 8 percent, higher than the growth rate for other occupations.
Job Opportunities for Event Planners in Arkansas
If you are interested in entering the field of wedding and event planning, there are a couple of important career choices you have to make. You can decide to establish your own business and provide services to your clients, or you can work for another company. Because of the low number of event planners in the state, professionals are in pretty high demand. There are numerous employment opportunities for event planners in the largest city in Arkansas, Little Rock.