Despite a tough job market, nearly half of financial planning firms report they plan to hire additional staff in the next 12 months. That’s one of the findings in the latest salary survey conducted and released by the Financial Planning Association.

The 2010-2011 Financial Planning Salary Survey is a research study that details compensation and benefits, job characteristics and functions, and retention and turnover rates for 22 financial planning positions nationwide.

This year, the survey also compared male and female salaries and found that women working as a senior financial planner make about 96% of what their male counterparts earn, and junior financial planners make 95% for every dollar their male counterparts earn. This compares with a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that women who work full-time make 80% when compared with their male counterparts.

“The 2010 Financial Planning Salary Survey reflects interesting trends for the financial planning profession,” said Marv Tuttle, executive director and CEO of the Financial Planning Association, in a prepared statement. “As the profession continues to expand and grow, the survey is a valuable practice management tool to help advisers analyze where their practice or firm ranks locally and nationally, and evaluate and plan their business accordingly.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • Student and Career Changer Expectations – The majority of college students plan to begin a career as a junior financial planner and expect to earn $52,500 each year. The survey reports that junior financial planners with one to three years experience earn about $48,500 each year.
  • Loyalty pays off – Financial planners earn more in annual salary, benefits and bonuses the longer they’re with a specific firm.
  • Nearly half of financial planning firms report they plan to hire additional staff in the next 12 months.

Copies of the full 2010 FPA Salary Survey can be purchased through the FPA Store.