For those who are interested in pursuing a meeting planning career in convention management, perhaps the best way to know you’re potential earning power is by understanding what other meeting planners currently earn in the conventions industry.

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is a leading association, and produces an annual salary survey each year. Based on responses from 431 responses in the U.S., Canada, the average meeting professional… In addition, the most significant number of responses were from individuals based in the Washington, DC (30.2%), Chicago (30.2%) and New York City (3.2%); about fifth percent of respondents work in others areas of North America.

Convene’s Salary Survey is part of the Annual Meetings Market Survey, produced in partnership with American Express.

Based on the results, the average meetings industry vice president earns $99,600, the average director earns $81,500 and the average manager earns $58,200. It’s worth noting that the mean of all salaries was $69,800, and that 40% of meeting professionals earned in excess of this. What’s even more interesting to note is that The average years of experience is 16 4 years, 48% have a college degree; and 24% have some post-graduate education and 8% have earned a post-graduate degree.

And where can you find these jobs? According to Convene, with half of the surveys coming from individuals who work at an association, 34.5% report to the meetings and events department; 7% report to finance, 7% report to marketing, 2.3% report to sales, and 1.2% report to the travel department.

And the average salary of staff members reporting to management earn $38,000 – not a bad start.

2007 Salary by Job Title and Geographic Area:

  Vice President Director Manager
North $112,500 $84,400 $55,500
Central $83,200 $83,700 $56,500
South $113,200 $75,800 $58,800
West $125,000 $87,200 $57,100

View more results from Convene’s 17th Annual Meetings Market Survey (2008).