How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?


Insurance Agent Job DescriptionInsurance agents, also known as insurance brokers, help insurance companies generate new business. They contact potential customers via a variety of different methods, and sell them insurance products.

An agent will have good knowledge of the different types of insurance available, and help the customer decide on the best insurance to meet their needs. This involves introducing the products to the customer, explaining how they work, and feeding back the information to the insurance company.

Some insurance agents work for a single, large insurance company. But it’s normal practice for agents to work for several smaller companies, giving them a larger selection of products to offer.
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Insurance Agent Salary

insurance agent salaryUsing the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average insurance agent’s salary is $47,860. This is the median wage, calculated by taking the halfway point between the amount half the workers earn more than, and half earn less than.

Obviously this would vary a lot from State to State, but for the purpose of a median across the whole of the US, this works well. Insurance starting salary also varies across different geographic locations, depending on experience, qualifications and more.

The lowest 10% however, earns less than $25,710 a year, while the top 10% earns $119,970. However, the question asking, how much do insurance agents make? Is still not straightforward, because they are often commissions and bonuses depending on the volume of sales.

Commissions are the most common forms of financial compensation on top of a salary. This is an incentive in place to help persuade agents to sell the policies of particular insurance companies that pay well. The amount of commission paid will differ across different policies, packages, terms taken out, and more.

There are usually overall goals too that are awarded with a bonus. These serve as a big motivational incentive for agents to push harder to make a certain amount of sales. These factors usually allow agents to work their own preferred hours. Evenings, weekends, and other hours that people are usually not at work are best to arrange an appointment.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island 2.52$42.62$88,650
New York FlagNew York 2.60$38.72$80,540
Minnesota FlagMinnesota 2.19$38.42$79,920
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts 2.05$37.87$78,780
Illinois FlagIllinois


Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Commodity Contracts Brokerage and Intermediation 0.10$46.80$97,340
Electronic Markets Brokers and Agents 0.03$37.01$76,990
Management of Enterprises and Companies0.11$33.76$70,220
Tax Preparation, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll Services 0.02$32.64$67,890
Office Administrative Services 0.05$31.20$64,900
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Insurance Agent Job Description

what do insurance agents doSo, what do insurance agents do? Well, in summary they help insurance companies’ secure new business by selling their products and policies. Insurance agents are the face that that talks through the products to the customers in person.

Here are some of the duties that insurance agents typically carry out:

• Calling potential customers over the phone
• Arranging appointments to meet with customers and discuss their options
• Review customer’s current policies and advise any improvements
• Handle legal documents and paperwork regarding policies
• Maintain computer based records

There are a number of different types of insurance agents can sell. Including property, casualty, health, life, and care insurance.

Casualty and property insurance agents sell policies that cover and protect businesses and people from experiencing financial loss resulting from theft, fire, automobile accidents, extreme weather, and other events that may result in damage to property.

With businesses, this also covers any claims as a result of workers’ injuries or compensation, product liability claims, or medical malpractice claims. Life insurance agents sell products that pay out in the event of death, or as part of a retirement package.

Health, life, and care policies cover the costs of medical bills and carer fees for people in their older years. There are also dental care, long-term, and short-term disability policies that some agents will offer.

An insurance agent’s career will always stay similar, with the process of selling insurance having not changed much over the years. The types of insurance policies however are always changing. So an ongoing knowledge curve is necessary, learning about the latest policies and ways the customers can benefit.

Many agents will spend a lot of time marketing themselves and their services. Often specializing in a certain area of insurance, and within a geographic area they can cover comfortably. This can be done by door-to-door pitching, making phone calls, and relying on existing customers to recommend them.

The life of an insurance agent usually means a lot of time is spent on the road travelling from client to client. But they will also have an office as a base, used to catch up on paperwork, meet with clients, or have meetings with other colleagues like lawyers and accountants.

Insurance Agent Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama3.285$26.78$55,700
Alaska FlagAlaska1.756$27.65$57,510
Arizona FlagArizona-$27.77$57,760
Arkansas FlagArkansas2.479$24.54$51,040
California FlagCalifornia2.406$34.38$71,510
Colorado flagColorado3.7$26.44$54,990
Connecticut FlagConnecticut3.295$33.73$70,150
Delaware flagDelaware2.5$31.38$65,270
Florida FlagFlorida3.538$32.39$67,360
Georgia FlagGeorgia2.994$31.37$65,260
Hawaii FlagHawaii1.614$30.42$63,270
Idaho FlagIdaho2.106$26.87$55,880
Illinois FlagIllinois3.157$35.51$73,860
Indiana FlagIndiana2.507$29.12$60,560
Iowa FlagIowa3.835$26.44$55,000
Kansas FlagKansas2.445$35.06$72,910
Kentucky FlagKentucky2.448$28.48$59,230
Louisiana FlagLouisiana3.356$24.11$50,160
Maine FlagMaine2.724$27.25$56,670
Maryland FlagMaryland2.588$28.51$59,300
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts2.053$37.87$78,780
Michigan FlagMichigan3.108$26.79$55,720
Minnesota FlagMinnesota2.186$38.42$79,920
Mississippi FlagMississippi2.223$25.73$53,520
Missouri FlagMissouri3.4$29.18$60,700
Montana FlagMontana3.421$23.64$49,180
Nebraska FlagNebraska3.039$26.28$54,650
Nevada FlagNevada2.37$25.07$52,150
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire2.032$33.08$68,800
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey2.441$35.01$72,810
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico1.964$22.40$46,600
New York FlagNew York2.604$38.72$80,540
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina2.352$28.79$59,890
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota2.869$26.81$55,760
Ohio FlagOhio2.647$30.03$62,460
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma2.696$27.54$57,290
Oregon FlagOregon2.427$30.11$62,620
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania2.98$32.73$68,070
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island2.522$42.62$88,650
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina2.705$21.64$45,010
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota4.845$28.39$59,050
Tennessee FlagTennessee-$26.24$54,570
Texas FlagTexas2.805$26.89$55,930
Utah FlagUtah2.452$24.70$51,370
Vermont FlagVermont2.315$34.40$71,560
Virginia FlagVirginia2.63$27.94$58,120
Washington FlagWashington2.807$26.34$54,780
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia2.539$23.37$48,620
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin2.507$31.51$65,540
Wyomin FlagWyoming1.616$22.15$46,080

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Lawrence / Methuen / Salem, MA / NH NECTA Division -$50.21$104,430
New Bedford - MA 1.44$48.98$101,880
Fond du Lac - WI 1.17$47.88$99,590
Toledo - OH 1.71$46.95$97,650
Lake County / Kenosha County, IL / WI - Metropolitan Division 1.96$46.07$95,820

Top paying non-metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
North Valley Region of California - nonmetropolitan area 1.57$47.51$98,830
Southeast Alabama - nonmetropolitan area 1.92$45.66$94,980
Southwestern New Hampshire - nonmetropolitan area 2.87$42.24$87,870
Western Colorado - nonmetropolitan area 1.96$39.69$82,550
Central New York - nonmetropolitan area 1.12$37.43$77,850

Insurance Agent Job Outlook

The outlook is always positive for insurance agents. There is an expected growth of 10% forecast until 2022, which is around the average of all occupations. The insurance industry generally follows suit with the economy.

Because insurance companies rely heavily on agents bringing them new business in, the profession is always in demand. With the more successful agents rising to the top quicker and earning a lot more through commissions and bonuses.

With this in mind, independent insurance agents will be more in demand as insurance companies use them as a way to leverage their client base. With long and short-term care, and health insurance expected to be the most in demand policies due to the ever aging population.
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