How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in Illinois

Nowadays, people are finding more and more reasons and occasions to celebrate, generating a rising demand for professional wedding and event planners. These skillful experts seem tireless, planning and managing whole events from the suppliers to the program and everything in between. They coordinate with several people and components to bring their clients’ unified vision to life.

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Being a wedding and event planner is tedious. It requires hours of hard work, but it is a fulfilling and rewarding career. If you are outgoing, can communicate effectively, multitask well, and are extremely thorough, then being an event planner might be your perfect career.

Requirements for Becoming an Event Planner in Illinois

There are currently no specific educational requirements to become an event planner in the state of Illinois. a diploma or degree in one or more of these fields, however, would be a big step toward being an effective and sought-after events planner:

  • Hospitality Management
  • Event Management
  • Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Human Resources

Where to Get Relevant Education in Illinois

There are quite a number of colleges and universities in the state of Illinois offering some of the courses listed above in various degree levels. Here are some of the most popular educational institutes around the area:

  • Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, offers degrees in Hospitality Management, Communications, Marketing, Public Relations and Human Resources.
  • Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL, offers degrees in Hospitality Management, Marketing Communications, Public Relations and Human Resources.
  • College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL, offers degrees in Hospitality Management, Meeting and Events Planning, Marketing and Human Resource Management.

Aside from these degrees, there are also numerous online courses you can take to learn how to be a planner. The QC Event School is a specialized online training program that offers courses directly related to wedding planning, while the Quincy College Event Planning Program is an intensive 90-hour, six-course program that will teach you how to manage different types of events.

Certifications to Become an Event Planner in Illinois

Although event planner certifications are not required to practice in this profession, being awarded one or more would undoubtedly make you more knowledgeable about the profession and set you apart from others. Here are a few event planning certifications and a brief description of each to get you started:

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a globally-recognized certification administered by the Events Industry Council (EIC) that shows you have the right experience and knowledge to conduct meetings according to their standards successfully.
  • Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) is a certification awarded by the International Live Events Association (ILEA) to those who have been proven to have the skills needed to design and bring together exceptional special events.
  • Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) is administered by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and was designed to reinforce key meeting management and leadership abilities for professionals to level up their careers.

Salary and Career Growth

An event planner in Illinois earns an average annual salary of $53,270, with higher-earning planners making up to $81,210. Pay in this state is higher compared to the national average of $51,560 per year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are currently around 4,300 convention and event planners in the state of Illinois, which can be subject to change as the average growth rate for this profession is at a high national average of 8 percent.

Working as a Wedding and Event Planner in Illinois

There are a couple of significant decisions to be made as a wedding and event planner. You can work for another company or create your own business by providing event planning services to clients. There is currently a very high demand for event planners in Illinois, and a number of companies are looking to hire competent professionals in Chicago, Rockford and Lincolnwood. It’s always important to plan for your goals; being prepared and ready for anything is the first step toward achieving your dream of becoming a successful wedding and event planner.

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