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PCMA Releases New Salary Survey on Meeting Professionals

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In the June issue of Convene magazine, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) revealed the results of its annual salary survey, which shed additional light onto growing trends in the industry, particularly around growth and salary.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the meeting, convention and event planner role as its pick for the No.12 best business job in 2015 and one of the 100 best jobs overall. The industry is ripe for growth, with the U.S. noting planner as one of the fastest-growing on the list. "The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects meeting, convention and event planner employment growth of 33.2 percent between 2012 and 2022, adding more than 31,000 jobs." Event planner also made the recent CareerCast list of best jobs for women in 2015, which also indicated a 33 percent growth outlook. Data from PCMA’s Annual Salary Survey suggests that the increase in the number of jobs available in the industry have been accompanied by salary increases for meetings and event professionals.

The percentage of planners participating in the survey who received raises has steadily increased each year, with 79 percent of planners reporting a salary increase in 2015, up 2 percent from 2014. PCMA also noted that, with increases in salary, 58 percent of planners are reporting working 41-50 hours per week, an increase from last year. 

PCMA results show that, in 2015, the average salary for meeting professionals increased about 6 percent to $80,794, up from $75,882 in 2014. The average salary for a professional with a CMP was $85,793, about $10,000 more than those who have not earned the designation, whose average salary was $75,265. 

"This survey helps illustrate the impact events have in the U.S. and emphasizes the positive growth trend overall, further highlighting the fact that certification continues to prove its value in a competitive marketplace," said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, Convention Industry Council’s chief executive officer.

Earning professional credentials matter, according to the survey. Nearly nine-tenths (88 percent) of respondents to PCMA this year indicated that they have earned the CMP designation, 6 percent have earned their CAE (Certified Association Executive) and 3 percent have earned a CMM (Certification in Meeting Management). 

In March of 2015, 340 meeting professionals participated in the PCMA survey, 98 percent of whom work in North America. The survey was conducted by Lewis&Clark and sponsored by DMAI’s To see the full results of the survey, please visit the PCMA website. The survey appears in the June 2015 issue of PCMA’s Convene magazine


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