What does it take to join the $220k+ club?

Money Management Salary Survey financial planning education dealer group

22 April 2016
| By Staff |
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When it comes to taking home the big bucks in the planning industry, it is experience that counts, the Money Management Salary Survey reveals.

Data found that just one in 20 planners who reported being in the top 15 per cent of earners had been in the industry for less than a decade, with 59 per cent of respondents saying they had more than 15 years' experience.

Staying power is also a common trait shared by planners earning more than $220,000 a year, with 68 per cent being with the same company for more than 10 years, while just nine per cent had been with their current employer for less than five years.

Where do they work?

For those looking to join the elite earners of the profession, the survey found that the vast majority were employed by advisory firms or dealer groups (85 per cent — and 100 per cent of those with incomes in excess of $500,000 per annum), with retail banks, fund managers and investment banks providing a total of 15 per cent of the industry's top earners.


The survey found that academic achievements beyond a Diploma of Financial Planning (DFP) were not essential to securing a salary of more than $220,000, with almost a third of respondents reporting that it was their highest educational qualification.

A further 13 per cent said an Advance DPF was the peak of their academic achievements, while 45 per cent reported holding a Post Graduate or Master qualification, with the remaining 10 per cent having Bachelor's Degrees in finance, economics, or accounting.

Professional qualifications

While similar numbers of Australia's best paid planners reported holding a DFP or Advance DFP as a Master, or Post Grad, professional qualifications appear to be key for securing top dollar in the planning industry.

The survey found that 55 per cent of respondents said they held the Financial Planning Association of Australia's Certificate in Financial Planning, with a further 32 per cent saying they had passed the RG 146 only, while five per cent had no professional qualifications.

Age and gender

Data from the survey found just 10 per cent of respondents who reported earning more than $220,000 were female, compared with 26 per cent of overall respondents across all pay brackets.

With the majority of top earning planners having more than 15 years' experience in the industry, just nine per cent of respondents who said they were at the upper end of the pay spectrum were under 35 years old.

While the survey found that experience counts when it comes to taking home the big bucks, less than one in five planners in the $220,000-plus category were over 55 years, with 72 per cent aged between 36 and 55 years.

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