If you’re a meeting professional in the U.S. with a salary just north of $60,000, consider yourself normal. According to the 2002 Salary Survey conducted by Meeting Professionals International, the average U.S. planner will earn $60,714 this year, up from $54,613 in 2000. The average salary for all respondents—including those from Canada and the rest of the world—is $59,447.

MPI reported its salary findings regionally—Northeastern U.S., Midwestern U.S., Southern U.S., Western U.S., Canada, and International—and within those regions broke out compensation by title, type of organization, experience, and other criteria. Planners in the Northeast U.S. are, on average, the best paid. However, comparing planners at medical institutions, the Northeast was, perhaps surprisingly, the least well compensated in the U.S.

Average Compensation
Western U.S. $61,924
Midwestern U.S. $55,250>BR> Southern U.S. $57,894
Northeastern U.S. $66,453
Canada $40,102
International $62,028

Medical
West $54,080
Midwest $55,800
South $62,957
Northeast $45,125
Canada $30,000

Corporate planners tend to earn better salaries than their counterparts in associations, university, and other institutions. However, those who have taken the risk to go out on their own as independent planners are generally reporting the highest salaries.

MPI’s e-mail survey was returned by 1,509 meeting planners, 60 percent of whom spend between 75 percent to 100 percent of their working day on meeting management functions, while another 20 percent spend 50 percent to 74 percent of their time on meetings.

While many respondents are concerned about the future of their jobs—19 percent fear losing their job in the next year and 45 percent have watched their company downsize in the past year—only 5 percent report a decrease in pay since September 11, and only 1 percent have been laid off or are unemployed. Almost half have earned a raise in the past seven months.

West
Corporation/Company $63,744
Association/Society $61,050
Independent Planner $55,789
Government $68,445
Medical Institution $54,080

Midwest
Corporation/Company $55,655
Association/Society $50,732
Independent Planner $72,053
Government $55,500
Medical Institution $55,800

South
Corporation/Company $58,033
Association/Society $52,280
Independent Planner $77,043
Government $52,562
Medical Institution $62,957

Northeast
Corporation/Company $71,886
Association/Society $55,429
Independent Planner $81,619
Government $61,467
Medical Institution $45,125