by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2007

chartAre you earning as much as you deserve? While 67 percent of the respondents to M&C’s 2007 Salary Survey are somewhat or extremely satisfied with their compensation, 76 percent of the 554 corporate and association planners who weighed in did say more money would make them happier.

One of the best ways to argue for a raise is to steer the conversation away from emotions and come armed with statistics. To help fill your arsenal, M&C’s report looks at the base pay, bonuses, benefits, satisfaction levels and more of corporate and association meeting planners around the country.

The good news: Base salaries are up since our 2005 survey, by 10 percent for association planners and 16 percent for corporate planners. One reason for this jump might be attributed to planners’ experience, which is deeper in this year’s survey. Two years ago, our respondents had been in the business on average about 12 years; this year, both corporate and association planners have been working on meetings for 14 years.

To compile this information, M&C turned to San Diego-based CIC Research, which conducted an online survey this past spring. The independent market-research firm then analyzed responses from 352 corporate planners and 202 of their association colleagues.

Industry changes

The difference between the base salaries in the industry’s two segments has widened, with corporate planners now making in excess of $10,000 more than association planners; that gap was only about $6,000 in 2005.

Both the corporate and association worlds have aged a bit. In 2005, the average age for both sides was 44 years old. The average age for the corporate planners in the 2007 sample is 46, and the average age for the association planner is 47.

The percentage of Certified Meeting Professionals has risen, while the percentage of planners who have received the Certification in Meeting Management has fallen. The number of corporate planners with a CMP went from 19 percent to 24 percent; for association planners, that number went from 23 percent to 26 percent. Just 2 percent of the corporate sample have earned the CMM designation, compared with 4 percent in 2005, and just one person from the association sample, compared with 1 percent two years ago. Just over 2 percent of the association planners surveyed are Certified Association Executives.

Holding a certification can make a big difference in take-home pay. Corporate CMPs make an average of $79,462, $7,500 more than the overall average, and those with their CMM earn an average of $91,429. Association CMPs take home an average of $71,011.

The following pages offer an in-depth look at salary breakdowns, planners’ stress levels, benefits and more.