Becoming a Wedding and Event Planner in Ohio
Working in events, especially weddings, can be exciting and fast-paced. It’s a demanding job, though, so it’s essential to be aware of what it takes before getting started. While Ohio does not license wedding and event planners or require any specific training, education is an excellent place to start.
What Do Wedding and Event Planners Do?
The idea is simple, but in practice, organizing an event is anything but simple. Event and wedding planners are responsible for:
- Meeting with clients, initially and throughout the planning process
- Learning the client’s budget, goals, and ideas for the event
- Scouting locations
- Finding and hiring vendors
- Negotiating contracts with locations and vendors, with the budget in mind
- Making sure everyone gets paid
- Being at events to set up, keep things running smoothly, and break down at the end
To be an event planner, you must be detail-oriented, organized, good at communication, and a problem solver. You will likely have to work long hours some days, including evenings and weekends. You may have to deal with demanding clients or vendors and work to keep everyone happy.
How to Become a Wedding or Event Planner in Ohio
Ohio does not set any formal requirements for event planners. All you need is to call yourself a planner, and you can get started. Of course, to be successful, it’s best to prepare with training and education. Consider these steps to become a wedding and event planner:
- Take courses or complete a program in event planning, event management, or a similar subject.
- Get hands-on experience by working for a wedding or event planner.
- Find a mentor in the industry to help you get started.
You may also want to consider earning a credential. Several professional organizations offer certifications that highlight your knowledge and experience:
- Events Industry Council
- Society of Government Meeting Professionals
- International Association of Exhibitions and Events
- American Association of Certified Wedding Planners
- Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
Qualifications for these credentials vary, but you will have to work up to any one of them. It may be worth doing to make you more competitive when taking on clients.
Ohio Academic Programs for Event Planning
A post-secondary program in event planning or a related field is a great way to start your career. Here are some options in Ohio:
- Cuyahoga Community College. The hospitality department at the Cleveland campus offers an event planning certificate.
- Columbus State Community College. Columbus State offers a 26-credit hour meeting and event management certificate.
- Sinclair College. At Sinclair, in Dayton, you can earn an associate degree in meeting and event planning.
- Kent State University. for a four-year degree, Kent State offers its hospitality and event management program, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.
Career Outlook and Salaries
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that careers for meeting, convention and event planners are growing by 18%, much faster than average. The growth in Ohio is slower but still positive at nearly 5%.
Median salaries for event planners, according to the BLS, are $51,560 per year and $24,79 per hour. In Ohio, the average annual pay ranges from $50,340 to $53,980. Salaries can vary widely depending on event types, clients, hours worked, and employer.
Job Opportunities for Wedding and Event Planners in Ohio
Event planners have many options for work. You can start your own business and set your hours and rates, or you can find employment. Event planners work for religious, civic, and professional organizations, hotels, convention centers, and recreation and entertainment facilities.
You’ll find more opportunities in large population centers like Columbus and Cleveland. Still, with the proper training and education, you should be able to find work throughout Ohio.