How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in Pennsylvania
Suppose you’re a highly organized and detail-oriented person with excellent people skills and a passion for bringing other people’s ideas to life. in that case, a career in event planning could be perfect for you. Whether you’re interested in taking on corporate events, weddings, or whatever comes your way, event planning is a growing industry with a bright future.
Requirements and Useful Skills
While there are no particular legal requirements for events planners in Pennsylvania, specific skills are non-negotiable. Because the job revolves around working with people, you’ll need to be a strong communicator, both verbally and in writing. Organization skills are a must, and the ability to work under pressure is crucial.
Long hours and late nights are routine in this profession, so if you’re looking to stick to the 9-5, event planning might not be for you. a degree in business or hospitality management, communications or public relations is a definite advantage, as is previous experience organizing significant events.
Education and Training Opportunities
A degree isn’t necessary to work in this industry, but it will give you an edge. Pennsylvania is well-served for educational institutions, and Universities.com lists the following as providing the best degree courses relevant to event planning in the state:
- Hospitality Management:
- Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park
- Temple University, Philadelphia
- Widener University, Chester
- Public Relations:
- Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
- University of Scranton, Scranton
- Messiah University, Mechanicsburg
- Business Administration:
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
- Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
- University of Scranton, Scranton
Additionally, California University of Pennsylvania offers a minor in Event Planning and Management.
If you’re not looking to complete a degree course, there are other options. Some shorter courses available in Pennsylvania include:
- Meeting, Convention and Event Planning certificate from Bucks County Community College, Newtown
- Troy Garrett Event Planning Class
- Event Planning, 1 Day Training, offered by Mangates
You could also take an online course to develop your skills and receive a recognized certification:
- Online training from the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP)
- Certified Wedding and Event Planning (CWEP) from the Wedding Planning Institute and other providers
- QC Event Planning offers courses including wedding and corporate event planning
For those who have several years of experience working full-time in hospitality or event management, there are some internationally recognized professional certifications that will help you stand out from the crowd:
- Event Planning Specialist Certification (CEPS)
- Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
- Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)
- Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE)
Salary Expectations and Career Outlook in Pennsylvania
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the yearly average (mean) salary for Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners in Pennsylvania as $52,820, below the national average of $55,890. The cost of living in the various cities varies widely according to salary.com, from 13.7% above the average in Philadelphia to 11.7% below the average in Erie. Salaries in the state likely follow a similar pattern.
Pennsylvania is the fifth most populous state in the country, with the sixth most robust economy in the US. It ranks 27th in Forbes’ list of Best States for Business. When you consider that the event planning and meetings industry is projected to grow by 8% between 2019 and 2029, Pennsylvania seems like a great place to start your event planning business.