In Brief: Event Planner

Job title: Event Planner

The work

Organize and detail events, including everything from charity fundraisers and black-tie affairs to conferences and seminars. As an event planner, you'll arrange every detail of an event, such as catering, decorations and security, and make it look as memorable and interesting as possible within the client's budget and guidelines.

What it pays

The median annual salary is $35,000.

The hours

The hours are very flexible and include weekdays, weeknights and weekends, revolving around what types of events are being planned. Malou Stark, event planner and president of Exceptional Events Ltd. in Stanardsville, Va., says that she works an average of 50-60 hours a week or more, depending on what's on the agenda. "For most events, the average amount of time spent on the actual day of the event is between 10 and 15 hours," Stark says. "Conferences can be anywhere between 36-40 hours, but a four-day conference could involve around 200 hours of planning."

What you need

Most event planners today possess a bachelor's degree in business administration, marketing, hospitality or a related field in addition to having industry experience. To expand on your skills, Stark recommends looking for marketing or hospitality work at hotels or resorts.

The perks

In addition to having the opportunity to set their own hours and meet a lot of different types of people, Stark includes the large opportunity for growth, networking, and travel as being some of the bigger benefits of the job.

Best part of the job

"When the job has been completed and successful, it's great to see if you've exceeded their expectations," Stark says.

Worst part of the job

"There are two parts: When one of your sub-contractors doesn't do what they are supposed to, and when you have to work long weekend or holiday hours when you want to do something else," Stark says. "Other than that, it's a really rewarding job."

Next: Confessions of a Wedding Planner >>

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