How Much Does an Average Life Insurance Agent Earn in Salary?
by J.E. Cornett
Whether it's a term life policy, a whole life policy, or an annuity, when it comes to life insurance, people are willing to pay for peace of mind. For life insurance agents, this means earning a median annual wage that's well above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics figured the annual wage of insurance agents -- life insurance agents included -- at just over $46,000 in 2010. That's more than $10,000 over the national average wage as reported by BLS.
The operative word when discussing life insurance agents' pay, however, is wage rather than salary. That $46,000 annual wage is an average figured from three different types of pay. Many independent agents are paid by commission only. Employees of an agency or an insurance carrier may be paid by salary only, salary plus commission, or salary plus bonus. Selling more than one type of product means reaching a wider audience, a fact that's not lost on those working in the insurance business. Very few agents sell only one type of insurance; for
those selling life insurance, several financial products are offered.
For life insurance agents, to get paid they must get new clients. Getting new clients, in turn, means establishing a reputation in the business. Those two obstacles can be daunting, keeping fledgling agents from reaching sales goals and continuing in the career. Many beginning agents don't meet their income goals through commissions and eventually transfer to other careers, says the BLS. The good news is, this means most insurance companies often have job openings. The bad news is, new hires not only have to compete with established agents, but also with securities brokers, banks and financial planners who also sell life insurance.
Selling insurance often gives you the opportunity to be your own boss, operating as an independent agent, offering policies through several different insurers. The trade off, however, comes at a price, literally -- working independently means going it alone when it comes to renting or buying office space.,Though insurance agents understandably have a leg up where insurance benefits are concerned, other costs can rack up, and subtract from the bottom line.
Category: Business Insurance