U.S. News & World Report has called meeting planning the top job in its “Best Jobs of 2012” report. Great job prospects, salaries and the rewarding nature of the work were among the reasons that planners earned the top spot in the magazine’s annual ranking.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects meeting, convention, and event planner employment growth of 43.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding 31,300 more jobs, according to the article. The Labor Department reports the median annual wage for meeting, convention, and event planners was $45,260 in 2010. The best-paid 10 percent in the field made approximately $76,840, while the bottom 10 percent made approximately $27,090, the magazine said.
In describing the work, Mike Shea, executive director of the popular South by Southwest annual conference and festival in Austin, Texas, called meeting planning arduous but, ultimately, enjoyable.
"For 51 weeks, [event planning is] like building a bungee-jump tower out of toothpicks; it’s tedious and demanding," Shea said. "On week 52, you climb to the top and tie the bungee to your ankle and hope everything holds. Then you dust yourself off and start all over again.”
“You have to thrive under pressure,” he asserts, “and actually love the challenge."