Financial planners responding to a recent survey reported mean gross earnings of $283,079 in 2006, up almost 18% from the 2005 average.

Longevity in the profession significantly affected reported earnings, according to the College for Financial Planning, Greenwood Village, Colo., which conducted the survey.

Professionals with 5 to 9 years of experience averaged $111,730 annually, while those with 30-plus years in the business averaged $476,464.

The college found those holding professional designations fared better than those who did not. Survey participants holding the college’s Accredited Asset Management Specialist designation reported annual increases in earnings ranging from 18% to 29%, with an average annual income of $109,000 to $188,000.

Participants designated Chartered Retirement Planning Counselors saw increases of 12% to 15% and annual incomes greater than $140,000.

The typical financial planner client is a 2-income couple, 50 to 59 years old, with gross income of $100,000 to $149,999, discretionary income of $10,000 to $20,000, and a net worth of $1 million to $1.5 million, the CFP says.

The CFP’s 2007 Survey of Trends found disagreement between planners and their clients about retirement expectations. Among clients, 88% expect to be able to maintain their current standard of living in retirement, while only 70% of financial planners said clients would be able to maintain their current standard living.