How to Become a Wedding and Event Planner in Florida
Working as a wedding and event planner might be the perfect career choice if you are organized, good at problem-solving and time management, and can remain calm in stressful situations. Wedding planners focus primarily on wedding planning, while event planners might be responsible for planning events such as business conventions, educational conferences, birthday parties and more.
Most event planners are responsible for orchestrating events from start to finish, handling all the details in between. They meet with their clients to learn their expectations and goals, work with them to plan the event, then make sure it goes according to plan. How much or how little responsibility an event planner has will depend on the size and type of event they are planning. Some event planning tasks include securing and working with vendors, coordinating event logistics and managing the client’s budget.
Requirements for Working in Wedding and Event Planning in Florida
There aren’t any specific state requirements in Florida for wedding and event planners. However, conditions may vary based on where you decide to work. You will need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some companies prefer to hire event planners with a bachelor’s degree in meeting and event management or a similar major. If you plan to run your own business, you have some flexibility with your educational acquisitions since you will be your own boss.
Whether you choose to work for someone else or yourself, completing a formal degree program or earning a relevant certification can help give you foundational skills and knowledge for the job. Experience is also advantageous to this career. Working as an intern for an event planning company before seeking full-time employment as an event or wedding planner can benefit you tremendously.
Training Opportunities in Florida for Wedding and Event Planners
If you are looking for training opportunities in Florida, there are several options for you to choose from, including the following:
- Florida Atlantic University offers a certificate in event management program. This program consists of seven Saturday sessions that can be taken on-campus in Boca Raton or virtually. The cost of this program is $998.
- St. Petersburg College also offers a certificate program in event planning management. Twenty-four credit hours make up this program and, depending on the pace at which you take the courses, it can be complete in about a year. This certificate and credits can be applied toward an Associate in Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
- If you are feeling particularly ambitious, Eastern Florida State College has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Management Event Planning program. This program will take the longest to complete, as it consists of 120 credit hours and will take about four years to finish. However, if you are considering opening your own business, this degree’s business and management training will come in handy.
For those focusing solely on wedding planning, you may want to consider the following programs:
- The University of Central Florida– the Division of Continuing Education at UCF has a certified wedding planner program that includes an internship opportunity. This program can be completed online in nine months, and the cost is $1,595.
- IAP Career College has an online wedding planner certificate course. It is designed to be completed in six weeks, but students may take it at their own pace and complete it in anywhere from four to twelve weeks. The course fee is usually approximately $377, but sometimes the cost can be discounted as low as $150.
Furthermore, Florida International University online has a corporate event planner program. This six-month course focuses on planning corporate events such as conferences and corporate parties. The cost of this program is $995.00.
Salary and Career Growth
Wedding and event planners fall under the category of meeting, convention and event planners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Florida event planners make an average of $24.20 hourly, or $50,340 annually, with the top earners in the state making as much as $67,010 annually. Also, this job field is predicted to see an 11.6 percent increase in jobs in the state between 2018 and 2028.
Job Opportunities in Florida
Florida ranks third in states for the employment of event planners, behind California and New York. Therefore, job opportunities are plentiful throughout the state. Wedding and event planners might find work through corporate or privately owned businesses, colleges, museums, or they may be self-employed.
Whether you choose to work as a meeting and convention, event or wedding planner, there are plenty of career opportunities for you within the state. in Florida, the cities with the highest employment in this profession are Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Tampa and St. Petersburg are among the highest-paying cities. Some major employers in the state include BEST Crowd Management, Florida International University, the CIty of Tampa and the Orange Bowl Committee.