by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2010
It's been three years since M&C last surveyed meeting planners about their jobs, including how much they earn, how happy they are and what kind of benefits they get. But while those years encompass the worst of the Great Recession, most salaries actually have risen since 2007, and a great majority of planners -- 95 percent -- still are somewhat or very satisfied with their jobs.
Those are just some findings in this year's survey, which also includes statistics on base salaries, benefits, overtime pay and more, broken down by corporate vs. association planners.

To gather the statistics, M&C worked with San Diego-based CIC Research (which is not affiliated with the Convention Industry Council), which conducted an online survey this spring. The market-research firm then compiled the responses from a total of 648 respondents, including 264 association and 384 corporate planners.


Planner Snapshot chart

Across the board This year's survey shows association and corporate planners now earn about the same amount of money. Association planners reported an average yearly salary of $74,239, up substantially from the $61,561 reported in 2007. Corporate planners' pay averaged $73,585, compared with $71,929 in 2007.

In 2007, corporate base salaries jumped by 16 percent and association salaries by 10 percent, compared with our 2005 survey results. This year, it's the association salaries that have risen significantly, up by 21 percent, partly due to a higher number of executive-level respondents this year, while the corporate base pay rose by just over 2 percent.

As in 2007, the planning community has grown slightly older. Association respondents this year averaged 48 years of age, vs. 47 in 2007; similarly, the age of the corporate planner rose to 47 in 2010, up from 46 in 2007.

This year's sampling did not include as many Certified Meeting Professionals as in the past. Just 19 percent of corporate respondents have their CMP, down from 24 percent in 2007. Four percent hold the Certification in Meeting Management, up one percentage point from 2007. On the association side, 22 percent are CMPs, down from 26 percent three years ago, and just 2 percent have the CMM, up from 1 percent in 2007. About 4 percent of the association respondents are Certified Association Executives.

Having a certification makes a big difference in the corporate world. CMPs earned an average of $83,288, almost $10,000 more than the overall average. CMMs averaged $92,167, more than $18,000 above the overall average.

Meeting planner certifications do not seem to make as large an impact in the association world, where CMPs made $76,250, about $2,000 above the overall average, and association planners with their CMMs made $70,000, which is less than the average. However, the 10 association respondents with their CAEs earned an average of $106,786, more than $30,000 above the overall number.

The following pages look at corporate and association planner results separately, with findings on stress levels, benefits and more.