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Meeting Planner: Job Duties & Career Requirements

Keep reading to see what meeting planners do. Learn about education and training requirements. Get information about career prospects, too, to see if this job is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Meeting Planner

A meeting planner's key responsibility is to ensure that meetings run flawlessly. From the location to the invitations, audiovisual equipment and food, the meeting planner is in charge of making sure everything is taken care of. Meeting planners often work long hours in the run-up to an event and may also have to travel extensively.

Education Many employers prefer a bachelor's degree and related experience or coursework
Job Skills Networking, interpersonal, mathematics and communication skills
Median Salary (2015)* $46,840 (meeting, convention and event planners)
Job Growth (2014-2014)* 10% (meeting, convention and event planners)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

While not required, many employers prefer candidates for meeting planning positions to have their bachelor's degree. Because these positions are becoming increasingly complex, relevant experience or a post-secondary education will make beginning your career in meeting planning easier. Relevant courses in a 4-year bachelor's degree program that will help prepare you for a career in meeting planning include fundamentals of event and meeting planning, audiovisual basics, accounting, financial management, business law and fundamentals of negotiation.

Skills Required

Meeting planners must have very strong networking and multitasking skills to be successful. Good math, interpersonal, and communication skills are also critical to success in meeting planning.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The employment outlook for meeting, convention and event planners is good; according to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, employment in this field is expected to grow by 10% from 2014-2024. Median earnings for this field as of May 2015 were $46,840.

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Alternate Career Options

A couple of other relevant occupations to consider include the following:

Travel Agent

Travel agents assist people who are planning trips for business or leisure. They make reservations for clients - airline, hotel, cruise, and attractions. Travel agents also help plan itineraries, making suggestions about times of year to travel, things to see and do, health and safety considerations, and related matters. Travel agents may book individual or group packages. A minimum of a high school diploma is required for employment; some employers may prefer postsecondary education or training in travel planning, as well. Professional associations offer certification options, and travel agents who open their own agencies may need a business license depending on the locality. The number of jobs for travel agents is expected to decline by 12% from 2014-2024, per the BLS; opportunities are expected to be better for those who specialize (such as in travel planning for corporate clients). Travel agents earned median pay of $35,660 in 2015, per the BLS.

Administrative Services Manager

This job requires oversight and leadership of a company or organization's support services. Administrative services managers' duties can vary and may include coordinating activities related to record keeping, facilities management or maintenance, for example. Employers' education requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree in business or facilities management; relevant work experience is also a prerequisite for this job. Administrative services managers can earn professional certification through the International Facility Management Association. The number of jobs is predicted to increase 8% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. Median pay for this job was $86,110 in 2015, according to the BLS.

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