Corporations, resorts and nonprofit organizations rely on special events managers to organize and plan events, book meeting rooms or hotels and coordinate the decorating and delivery of food, drinks and supplies. They also visit meeting locations to ensure they meet clients' specifications, approve payments for vendors and manage the events' budgets. As a special events manager, you can expect to earn an average salary of nearly $50,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
Special events managers earned average annual salaries of $49,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Simply Hired. To become a special events manager, you need a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or hotel management, depending on the industry in which you work. Employers also prefer one or two years of experience in event planning or field marketing. Other essential requirements include attention to detail and organizational, communication, project management, customer service, problem-solving, negotiating and computer skills.
Salary by Region
Average salaries for special events managers varied within a few of the U.S. regions in 2013. In the Northeast, they earned the highest salaries of $60,000 in Massachusetts and the lowest of $45,000 in Maine. Those in the South earned between $39,000 and $78,000 per year, respectively, in Mississippi and Washington, D.C. If you worked as a special events manager in the Midwest, you'd make $39,000 to $53,000, respectively, in South Dakota or Minnesota. In the West, your annual earnings would be $40,000 to $56,000 -- with the lowest in Montana or highest in Alaska or California.
Salaries for special events managers vary by industry. For example, in 2012, meeting, convention and event planners earned some of the highest salaries in the aerospace products and parts manufacturing and wired telecommunications industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- $75,660 and $74,040 per year, respectively. You may also earn more working for a company in one of these industries and as an employee of a securities and commodities corporation. The latter industry traditionally pays higher salaries for a number of occupations.
The BLS doesn't report job trends for special events managers. It does forecast jobs for the similar occupations of meeting, convention and event planners, which it predicts will increase 44 percent in the next decade. This much faster than average growth rate for those employed in event planning may produce a similar amount of jobs for special events managers. One reason is that corporations have more global customers today and must have meetings to keep up with global strategies. If your meetings are for clients, the ability to coordinate and execute successful events can win their business.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
- Inc.: Events Manager Job Description
- Missouri State University: Walt Disney World Entertainment: Special Events Manager
- Simply Hired: Average Special Events Manager Salaries
- Simply Hired: Average Special Events Manager Salaries in ME, NY and MA
- Simply Hired: Average Special Events Manager Salaries in MT, AK and CA
- Simply Hired: Average Special Events Manager Salaries in MS and DC
- Simply Hired: Average Special Events Manager Salaries in SD and MN
- Monster: McFarlane Promotions, Inc.: Special Events Manager
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images