How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?
By Elizabeth Dean
, last updated January 10, 2012
Money is always at the heart of the matter when considering careers and this breakdown of how much insurance agents make annually will help you determine if a career in insurance sales is right for you. If you have a background in marketing and communication, perhaps this career is something you may want to consider.
Insurance agents are typically licensed through brokerages or insurance companies such as State Farm, AIG, and Allstate. However an insurance agent may work independently as a self-employed individual giving them the ability to sell insurance to customers without a hefty premium. Keep in mind that without a venerable reputation, it is tough for an individual to compete with large-scale insurance companies like the ones listed. Additionally, commission often only pays self-employed insurance agents, whereas those with jobs within either a brokerage or an insurance company oftentimes have a salary to compensate for slow sale periods.
In most cases, an Associate's Degree is required, and this will earn you up 50% more than if you had only your GED. An Associate's Degree is a worthwhile investment considering that the average annual earnings for an insurance agent with a Bachelor's degree is $43,086 in suburban and surrounding metropolitan areas. Although the industries for an entry-level insurance agent are limited to business and finance, there is promise for future growth. For example, if you start out as an insurance agent with State Farm, after 5-10 years of experience and hard work you can potentially be promoted to Corporate Insurance Manager. This means that instead of selling insurance plans to individuals, you'll now be selling them to entire corporations and their employees as a package deal. You'll certainly rack in a significant commission for such a deal, but even so, the median annual salary for a Corporate Insurance Manager is $92,100. And, if you happen to be exceedingly successful at your job, Corporate Insurance Managers in the 90th percentile make upwards of $130,000 annually.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Insurance Agents is above average compared to other jobs around the country. However, new hires are mostly given to recent college graduates with an aptitude for interpersonal sales skills and decent grades.
This salary comparison and career path certainly highlights the financial payoffs of higher education. Luckily, many corporations hiring entry-level insurance agents offer continuing education programs in addition to a set career path. Usually in the form of night schooling, advanced degrees like Master's of Business Administration, Master's of Science in Accounting, Economics, or Finance can certainly make you a more meritorious candidate for either a raise, a promotion, or both! Make sure that you know about the benefits package your company offers and the effect it will have on your annual salary. Also, make yourself aware of the continuing education possibilities within your company to yield the best monetary results from your career as an insurance agent.
If this sounds appealing to you, do a bit more research about insurance agents and then go ahead and try and follow your dreams!