CMP aka $MP posted an infographic with this good news for meeting professionals: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planner is one of top five fastest-growing jobs; since 2010, jobs have grown by 10 percent.


One number in particular leaped out at me: Careerbuilder reported an average $47,380 salary. In Convene’s 2013 Salary Survey, released this month , our respondents reported an average salary of $77,711. (Read the full report here.)

That’s a huge 64 percent difference. It didn’t take long to see where those that we surveyed — Convene readers — differed significantly from the Careerbuilder data set, which comes from federal and state labor bureaus. Our respondents are better educated: Almost 80 percent of Convene‘s survey respondents have a bachelor’s degree, compared with 50 percent of the respondents.

But the salary story gets even more interesting when you consider the impact of the CMP certification. Seventy-eight percent of our respondents have CMPs, and for them the average salary is $84,865.

In our survey, we compare the salaries of those with CMPs against other Convene survey respondents, who are above average in education. (Among other things.) But when you look at those in our survey with a CMP compared with overall salaries for meeting professionals in the U.S., the difference is a walloping 80 percent.

It’s not a perfect comparison, as we don’t know exactly how Careerbuilder defined “meeting planner.” But that there big, big gains associated with education is very clear.

We know we are preaching to the choir: There was record attendance at PCMA’s 2013 Education Conference at the Colorado State Convention Center in Denver, which ended yesterday. But just in case you need a little confirmation of the value of your commitment to education and certification, it’s right there in the numbers.

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.