How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in Montana

Planning and executing events smoothly, no matter the size can be an arduous task. Keeping track of many moving parts can be overwhelming when you have more important things to focus on, such as your guests. Event and Wedding planners are highly skilled at managing and executing just about any event that can be dreamt up.

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For someone who is social but likes to work behind the scenes, is an excellent communicator, detail-oriented and exceedingly organized, this may be the right job for you. As an event planner, some of the duties you can expect to be performing are:

  • Communicating with clients to create their ideal event
  • Working with event venues, caterers, and entertainers
  • Creating contractual agreements and collecting payments
  • Onsite supervision of events and troubleshooting
  • Sales and Marketing

Those interested in the industry should remember that this job can come with long hours where evening and weekend work is considered standard fare.

What is Required to Work?

The state of Montana does not require wedding or event planners to obtain formal training in order to work or open a business. However, formal training can go a long way to gaining a client’s trust, especially if you are planning a highly personal event such as a wedding. Moreover, many companies such as convention centers and hotels may not hire you if you have not attended some postsecondary training.

Schooling in Events management, hospitality, communications and even Public Relations can lead to a rewarding career in events planning. Here is an example of what Montana has to offer for those looking to enter the events industry:

  • University of Montana, Missoula, MT: A large public university offering a Master of Wedding and Event Planning certificate with an 18-month program
  • University of Montana, Missoula, MT: This university also offers six hospitality programs, one being an associate’s degree in Hospitality Management
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, MT: A large public university offering a degree in Hospitality Management with Junior and Senior internship opportunities

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Expectations for the events industry as a whole are incredibly optimistic. The industry is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2020 – 2030, much faster than any other occupation. Many speculate that this is a direct result of the expected recovery of the events industry from the Covid-19 crisis. Within the state of Montana, that number is lower at 9 percent, translating to about seventy new jobs per year. Although this is quite a bit lower than the rest of the country, keep in mind that Montana has fewer established urban centers than other states, which affects the numbers.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that as of 2020, the national average earning for an event planner is $51,560 per year or $24.79 per hour. in Montana, one can expect higher earnings of $58,460 per year, or $23.11 per hour.

Work Opportunities in Montana

Event and wedding planners work in urban and rural settings, but those just starting after school may have more luck finding employment in more developed city centers. The three largest cities in Montana are Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls.

As an event planner, you can expect to find work in many places such as universities, hotels, convention centers, and even sports teams.

If you are interested in working specifically as a wedding planner, you might consider working at a hotel or convention centre that offers wedding packages in order to gain specific experience before applying for work with a wedding planner or opening your own business.

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