Research and White Papers

Meeting Planner: Best Business Job of 2012

By Matt Alderton
March 19, 2012

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If you love your job, you're not the only one: U.S. News & World Report loves it, too, as it has named "Meeting, Convention & Event Planner" the No. 1 best business job of 2012, and the year's No. 16 best job overall.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects meeting, convention and event planner employment growth of 43.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding 31,300 more jobs," the weekly newsmagazine reported in its Feb. 27 edition. "Favorable job prospects (as well as strong job satisfaction scores) help this profession rank in the top tier of 'The Best Jobs of 2012.'"

According to U.S. News, which cites BLS data, 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, it said, while the bottom 10 percent made approximately $27,090. The highest paid planners work in the metropolitan areas of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Lowell, Mass.; and Kingston, N.Y.

Here's how Mike Shea, executive director of the South by Southwest (SXSW) annual conference and festival in Austin, Texas, described the meeting-planning profession to U.S. News:

"For 51 weeks, [event planning is] like building a bungee-jump tower out of toothpicks. Tedious and demanding. 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 don't have to be a genius to succeed in the job, but you have to thrive under pressure and actually love the challenge."

Rounding out the top 10 on U.S. News' "Best Business Jobs" list are, in order from No. 2 to No. 10: Sales Representative, Accountant, Receptionist, Financial Adviser, Customer Service Representative, HR Training Specialist, Insurance Agent, Financial Analyst and Executive Assistant.

Outranking "Meeting, Convention & Event Planner" on U.S. News' overall "Best 25 Jobs of 2012" list, meanwhile, were:

1. Registered Nurse
2. Software Developer
3. Pharmacist
4. Medical Assistant
5. Database Administrator
6. Web Developer
7. Computer Systems Analyst
8. Physical Therapist
9. Computer Programmer
10. Occupational Therapist
11. Maintenance and Repair Worker
12. Elementary School Teacher
13. Clinical Laboratory Technician
14. Speech-Language Pathologist
15. Paramedic
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