How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in California
The process of planning any event, whether a wedding or otherwise, requires a particular type of individual. This person needs to be energetic, highly organized, an excellent communicator, and someone able to troubleshoot on the fly. An event/wedding planner may choose to work for a larger organization or run their own business. With the right approach and skillset, this career can be pretty gratifying while allowing you to meet people from all walks of life.
As an event planner, you may be required to perform some of the following duties:
- Communicating with venue managers, caterers and entertainers
- Financial planning
- Sales and Marketing
- Meeting with potential clients to design their event
- Venue setup and teardown
- Oversight of the event and on the spot troubleshooting
Anyone considering working in the industry should understand that the job can be highly stressful and that long hours including weekends and evenings are a normal part of the job.
What is required?
California does not require event or wedding planners to complete post-secondary studies or hold any special licenses. However, showing a potential client that you have relevant training and or experience can go a long way to gaining their trust and their business.
If you decide to start your career by working for a company such as a convention center or not for profit, they may require that you have completed studies in hospitality, communications, or another related field in order to be considered as a viable candidate. Often programs such as these offer internships as part of their courses to help you gain valuable industry experience. This is especially true if you decide to open your own business.
Studying in California
If you are considering attending a post-secondary institution, there are many different options around the state of California. Whether you choose to study in person or online, you should have no trouble finding a program to suit your needs. Some of those include the following:
- California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA: Large public university offering a one-of-a-kind Event Planning certificate, options include a ten-week online course or 5-month in-person program.
- International Career Institute, Los Angeles, CA: Distance learning institute offering an online Diploma in Events Management taking 6-8 weeks to complete.
- International Career Institute, Los Angeles, CA: Distance learning institute offering an online Wedding Planner Diploma taking six weeks to complete
- California State Polytechnic, Collins College of Hospitality Management, Pomona, CA: One of the top universities for event management, students can obtain a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Hospitality Management. There is also a certificate program in Wedding Consultant Professional Development.
Career growth and salary expectations
The outlook for someone pursuing a career in events management in California is quite positive. The number of jobs is predicted to grow from 2019 to 2029 by 8 percent throughout the U.S. in California, the increase in the number of jobs is projected to be an even higher increase of 11 percent, which should mean the addition of 2,590 jobs in the industry.
According to the American Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), an event planner can expect to make an average of 61,950 per annum, which is $29.79 per hour.
There are plenty of opportunities for those interested in becoming an event or wedding planner in California. Larger cities and towns will have more options, but small towns will always need these types of employees. You can try looking at universities and colleges, hotels, convention centers, sports teams, and not-for-profit organizations.
Indeed.com currently lists 490 available jobs in the event planning industry and 28 positions available for those in the wedding planning industry.