Becoming a Wedding and Event Planner in North Carolina
Event and wedding planning could be your dream career if you love planning, organizing, and working with people. Wedding and event planning is a growing career in North Carolina with plenty of opportunities for qualified, motivated individuals.
What is it Like to Work as a Wedding and Event Planner?
Planning meetings, conferences, weddings, and parties requires attention to detail, strong organizational and communication skills, and a strong work ethic. Parties can be glamorous, but behind the scenes, planners put it all together. These are the principal duties of an event and wedding planner:
- Meet with clients to determine vision, budget, and goals for an event
- Plan all aspects of the event, including time, location, food and drinks, entertainment, and more
- Get bids for venues and vendors and negotiate contracts
- Coordinate all the needed services for an event, like transportation and cleaning
- Stick with a client’s budget and manage their expectations
- Problem solve
- Set up and attend events to ensure things run smoothly
- Make sure vendors get paid
Requirements for Becoming a Wedding or Event Planner in North Carolina
Like other states, North Carolina does not license event planners or outline specific training or education requirements. Some ways to get started in the industry include:
- Completing a certificate or degree program in event planning or a related field
- Working for a company that does event planning and getting training on the job
- Starting your own event planning business
- Working with a mentor in the industry
To show clients and potential employers that you are knowledgeable in the industry, consider earning a credential through a professional organization. The Events Industry Council, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, and Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants offer related credentials.
Academic Programs for Event Planning in North Carolina
So much more goes into event and wedding planning than most people realize. It’s a good idea to complete a local university or community college program for the skills you need to get started. Here are some programs available in North Carolina:
- The University of North Carolina, Charlotte. At the Charlotte campus, you can earn a certificate in meeting and event planning.
- The University of North Carolina, Greensboro. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation, community recreation, and event planning at this campus.
- Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. Western Carolina offers an event planning certificate through six workshops.
- Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh. This is a 14-credit hospitality event coordination program.
Career Outlook and Salaries for Wedding and Event Planners
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for event and wedding planners in 2020 across the country was $51,560 per year and $24.79 per hour. North Carolina reports an average annual salary of $47,080 for this career. Top earners in the state made more than $74,000 in 2020.
The outlook for this career is strong in all states, with an astounding 18% growth rate. In North Carolina, growth is a little slower but still higher than average at 9.4%. The state predicts there will be about 400 open positions for wedding and event planners each year for the foreseeable future.
Finding Work as a Wedding and Event Planner
Most event planners work for employers, including religious groups, professional and civic organizations, support services companies, hospitality centers, and entertainment and recreation venues. This is also a career that provides some flexibility. You can start your own event planning business to take on clients and set your rates and hours.
The best places to work as a wedding and event planner are in the major population centers, like Charlotte and Raleigh. The opportunities for qualified planners are growing in the state. With the right training and education, it should be easy to find work.