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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Events Coordinators in Chicago, Illinois

Special events coordinators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 2,890 people work as special events coordinators in Illinois. This is expected to grow 17% to 3,390 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for special events coordinators, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.6% over the next eight years. In general, special events coordinators coordinate activities of staff and convention personnel to make arrangements for group meetings and conventions.

Income for special events coordinators is about $22 hourly or $46,940 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,260 per year. Earnings for special events coordinators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Logistics and Planning in Illinois and not quite as good as general Logistics and Planning category earnings nationally. People working as special events coordinators can fill a number of jobs, such as: corporate event planner, conference services manager, and conference organizer.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including six within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a special events coordinator. Special events coordinators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a special events coordinator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Special Events Coordinator

Special Events Coordinator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, special events coordinators coordinate activities of staff and convention personnel to make arrangements for group meetings and conventions.

Special events coordinators confer with customers to establish objectives and requirements for events such as meetings and conventions. They also arrange the availability of audio-visual equipment and other event needs. Equally important, special events coordinators have to direct services for events. They are often called upon to monitor event efforts to insure adherence to applicable regulations and laws, satisfaction of participants, and resolution of any problems that arise. They are expected to talk with staff at a chosen event site to direct details. Finally, special events coordinators inspect event bills for accuracy, and approve payments.

Every day, special events coordinators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for special events coordinators to negotiate contracts with such service providers and suppliers as hotels and speakers. They are often called upon to meet with sponsors and organizing committees to develop scope and format of events, to determine and monitor budgets, or to review administrative procedures and event progress. They also direct administrative details such as financial operations, dissemination of promotional materials, and responses to inquiries. They are sometimes expected to formulate and design programs, agendas and services in line with customer requirements. Somewhat less frequently, special events coordinators are also expected to evaluate and decide on providers of services in line with customer requirements.

They also have to be able to design event topics and choose featured speakers And finally, they sometimes have to inspect event bills for accuracy, and approve payments.

Like many other jobs, special events coordinators must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Logistics Specialist. Analyze and coordinate the logistical functions of a firm or organization. Responsible for the entire life cycle of a product, including acquisition, and final disposal of resources.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Special Events Coordinator Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated five and five students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated three students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated twenty-three and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated four students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated seven, three, and one students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Global Meeting Planner : The emphasis of this program is on planning international meetings.

For more information, see the Connected International Meeting Professionals Association website.

Certified Internet Meeting Professional: CIMP is a designation awarded by CIMPA to indicate competence in using the tools available on the internet to plan meetings and manage adult learning.

For more information, see the Connected International Meeting Professionals Association website.

Certified Meeting Professional: As the premier industry certification, the CMP distinguishes holders as career professionals who have demonstrated a high level of experience, skill and knowledge.

For more information, see the Convention Industry Council website.

Certified Special Events Professional: The CSEP designation is the hallmark of professional achievement in the special events industry.

For more information, see the International Special Events Society website.

Certified Associate in Project Management: As project management grows in scope, importance and recognition, so do the related career and credential options available to you.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.