Everything About An Insurance Agent Career

You think about becoming an insurance agent but are still not sure whether this is the right career path for you or not?

Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about being an insurance agent in the following chapters!

Not only will you learn how much money you can make as an insurance agent, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, future outlook, duties, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements and much more.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become an insurance agent or rather want to work in a different field instead.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What does an Insurance Agent do?

Insurance agents consult clients on what types of insurances they need.

They also sell insurance policies and the more policies they sell, the more money insurance agents make since they often get a commission for every contract.

Responsibilities & Duties of an Insurance Agent

  • Consulting clients on insurance products
  • Figuring out what insurance policies clients need
  • Selling insurance policies to customers
  • Doing market research regarding what insurance products are in high demand right now
  • Overseeing insurance portfolios of clients
  • Making adjustments to insurance portfolios
  • Informing clients about how to save money with insurances
  • Making sure that clients are covered in case of emergency
  • Complying with legal rules and regulations related to selling insurance
  • Documentation work

What a Typical Day of an Insurance Agent looks like?

Most insurance agents start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m.

After checking their mails and responding to the most critical and urgent ones, they get to their actual work and consult clients on insurance contracts all day long.

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Not only will they sell insurances to new clients, but they will also optimize insurance portfolios of existing clients to make sure that customers are happy with their products in the long run.

You will also have calls with your customers on a regular basis or meet your clients in person.

After working with a computer for many hours, you will usually finish your workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Insurance Agent Salary 2021

Insurance Agent salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $78,000> $38.93
Top 25 %$63,000 – $69,000$31.42 – $34.38
Bottom 25 %$34,000 – $42,000$16.88 – $20.92
Bottom 10 %$27,000 – $30,000$13.47 – $14.89
Range$27,000 – $86,000$13.47 – $42.94
Average (Mean)$52,000$25.97
Median$51,000$25.41

Insurance Agent salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$27,000 – $35,000$13.47 – $17.42
Junior$33,000 – $42,000$16.39 – $20.93
Professional$40,000 – $54,000$19.87 – $26.92
Senior Professional$52,000 – $63,000$25.89 – $31.46
Expert$61,000 – $76,000$30.37 – $37.88
Top Expert$73,000 – $86,000$36.45 – $42.93

Insurance Agent salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$47,200$23.57
Alaska$49,800$24.88
Arizona$51,600$25.79
Arkansas$48,200$24.08
California$59,300$29.63
Colorado$51,500$25.72
Connecticut$50,700$25.33
Delaware$48,100$24.04
District of Columbia$51,700$25.84
Florida$53,400$26.68
Georgia$51,800$25.89
Guam$49,300$24.63
Hawaii$53,900$26.92
Idaho$48,600$24.27
Illinois$51,200$25.58
Indiana$49,800$24.88
Iowa$52,500$26.23
Kansas$50,300$25.14
Kentucky$47,700$23.84
Louisiana$52,100$26.03
Maine$54,100$27.04
Maryland$55,800$27.87
Massachusetts$53,200$26.58
Michigan$49,700$24.84
Minnesota$51,300$25.63
Mississippi$48,600$24.28
Missouri$46,900$23.42
Montana$48,800$24.39
Nebraska$49,600$24.78
Nevada$48,300$24.13
New Hampshire$53,700$26.84
New Jersey$54,900$27.43
New Mexico$49,100$24.54
New York$61,500$30.72
North Carolina$49,300$24.64
North Dakota$51,200$25.58
Ohio$52,700$26.33
Oklahoma$51,800$25.88
Oregon$49,600$24.79
Pennsylvania$53,200$26.54
Rhode Island$50,800$25.37
South Carolina$49,700$24.84
South Dakota$51,200$25.57
Tennessee$52,500$26.23
Texas$50,800$25.38
Utah$51,600$25.77
Vermont$53,200$26.59
Virginia$52,100$26.03
Washington$54,900$27.44
West Virginia$52,600$26.28
Wisconsin$49,800$24.88
Wyoming$47,700$23.83

Job Security of Insurance Agents

Insurance agents don’t enjoy high levels of job security since they are easily replaceable and many people want to work in this field.

Consequently, you will have to deal with fierce competition and if you are not really good at what you are doing, you may get obsolete pretty soon.

Future Job Prospects of Insurance Agents

Not even do insurance agents have rather low job security right now, but they will also suffer from really poor job prospects in the future since many jobs in this industry will vanish.

In fact, many tasks that insurance agents do right now will be carried out by machines in the near future and many insurance agents will lose their jobs.

Working Hours of Insurance Agents

Insurance agents usually start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m. and quit working between 4 and 6 p.m.

Hence, working as an insurance agent is a classical 9 to 5 job and you will therefore have more than enough time for your family or to meet up with your favorite people after work.

Job Satisfaction of Insurance Agents

Many insurance agents are pretty happy with their jobs since they can make decent money while they still don’t have to work long hours every day while many other people who work as investment bankers or in another demanding field have to work much more overtime and are not able to see their loved ones that much.

Promotion Opportunities of Insurance Agents

There are many promotion opportunities for insurance agents.

If you are really good at what you are doing, you can climb the ladder soon and can get lots of responsibility at a rather young age.

Career Levels of Insurance Agents

  • Insurance agent intern
  • Junior insurance agent
  • Senior insurance agent
  • Insurance agent with personnel and/or budget responsibility
  • Insurance agent responsible for the whole department
  • Manager of an insurance company
  • Owner of an insurance company

Fields and Types of Insurance Agents

  • Insurance agent focused on life insurance
  • Insurance agent specialized in car insurance
  • Insurance agent with expertise in liability insurance
  • Insurance agent focused on health insurance
  • Insurance agent specialized in property insurance
  • Insurance agent with expertise in travel insurance
  • Insurance agent focused on bite-size insurance
  • Insurance agent focused on young people
  • Insurance agent focused on mature people

Educational Requirements for Insurance Agents

Even though it often helps, insurance agents don’t need to get a college degree to be able to work in this field.

Quite often, it will be enough to finish high school with decent grades and you will be ready to work in this industry.

How to become an Insurance Agent

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being an insurance agent
  2. Apply for an internship at local insurance companies
  3. Work hard during your internship
  4. Stay in touch with your colleagues
  5. Finish high school with decent grades
  6. Apply for jobs as an insurance agent
  7. Master the job interview
  8. Sign your labor contract
  9. Work hard and climb the corporate ladder

Character Traits you need as an Insurance Agent

  • You need to be persistent to convince clients
  • Patience helps to deal with difficult clients
  • You should believe in yourself so that clients believe in you as well
  • You should be a trustworthy person
  • Passion for selling helps as well
  • Ambition to make the lives of people safer
  • You should have an interest in insurance products in general
  • You should be willing to work in an office job
  • You should be an open and outgoing person

Hard Skills for Insurance Agents

  • Good knowledge of insurance products
  • Knowledge of legal rules and regulations related to selling insurance
  • You should know what your clients want
  • You should understand human psychology
  • Good selling skills are crucial to succeed in this field in the long run
  • Math skills help you calculate the costs of policies
  • Digital skills help as well
  • Knowledge of insurance software helps you get your work done faster
  • You should know how to market your skills well

Soft Skills for Insurance Agents

  • Patience helps you stay calm during tense situations
  • Empathy helps you understand the needs of your clients
  • Persistence helps you convince people about certain products
  • Good time management skills help you make your workday more efficient
  • Good interpersonal skills help you bond with clients
  • Decent negotiation skills
  • Positive attitude helps you overcome difficult times
  • Passion for working with new people every day
  • You should be a good listener to figure out what your clients want

Exit Options for Insurance Agents

If you don’t work as an insurance agent anymore, you can also work as a salesperson, a financial advisor or in many other insurance-related fields.

Insurance Agent – Similar Careers

  • Salesperson
  • Financial advisor
  • Investment banker
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial controller
  • Insurance adjuster
  • Loan officer
  • Underwriter
  • Real estate agent

Insurance Agent Career FAQs

Is working as an insurance agent physically demanding?

Insurance agents don’t have to work with their hands in a physically demanding manner.

Instead, they just work with a computer most of their workday and don’t have to stress their bodies as much as construction workers or welders who have to lift heavy things at work on a regular basis.

Is working as an insurance agent mentally demanding?

Working as an insurance agent can be mentally demanding since you always have to search for the best insurance products for your customers.

However, being an insurance agent is still not as demanding as working as a financial analyst or statistician since you will not have to work with complex mathematical models every day as they do.

Is it dangerous to work as an insurance agent?

It is not dangerous to work as an insurance agent at all.

You will just work in a classical office environment with your computer all day long and your risk of suffering from accidents at work will be rather limited compared to police officers or firemen who have to risk their lives on a daily basis.

How long do insurance agents stay in their jobs?

Insurance agents stay in their jobs for many years or even decades since they are often pretty happy with their overall working conditions and with the balance between how much they can make from their jobs and how much leisure they will have and therefore have a pretty low incentive to switch fields.

Is it easy for insurance agents to find a new job?

Since an increasing number of jobs will be lost in this industry in the near future due to AI and machine learning, many insurance agents will have a hard time finding a new job in this field in case they get fired or quit for some reason.

Is it hard to switch from being an insurance agent to another field of work?

Insurance agents also have a pretty hard time finding a job in a different industry since they are often pretty specialized and don’t learn many skills needed to work in a different industry.

Do insurance agents have a high social status?

Insurance agents have a pretty decent social status.

However, compared to doctors who can really save lives on a daily basis, your social status will still be rather low and if you want to be admired by many people out there, you should not become an insurance agent but rather go for a more popular career instead.

Can you help out your family and friends as an insurance agent?

You can also help out your loved ones as an insurance agent since you can consult them on what insurance products they really need and what insurance policies would just be a waste of money in the long run.

Can insurance agents work remotely?

Insurance agents are able to work remotely for at least some days per week.

Many insurance agents make video calls with clients instead of meeting up with them in person and this makes it possible for you to work from home while many other people who work in different jobs have to be present at their workplace in person and have to spend lots of time and money on commuting.

Is it easy to find a partner as an insurance agent?

Since insurance agents make decent money and also have a pretty standard workweek, they also have a relatively easy time finding a partner since they are considered good providers who can care for their families.

Do insurance agents have to work on weekends?

Insurance agents don’t have to work on weekends.

Instead, you can use those days to make nice weekend trips with your loved ones or spend them on your favorite hobbies while many waiters and train drivers have to work and don’t have this kind of luxury.

Do insurance agents have to work on holidays?

Insurance agents don’t have to work on holidays.

Instead, you can celebrate those days with your favorite people and do things you like even more than working.

Do insurance agents have to work at nighttime?

Insurance agents don’t have to work at nighttime.

Most often, you will just work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and you will not have to work much overtime and will come home from work rather early.

Do you have to travel as an insurance agent?

You don’t have to travel for your job as an insurance agent since you can do all the things you need to do remotely and there will also not be the need for business trips as in many other jobs like consulting where you will be away from home quite often.

Are insurance agent pensions good?

Since insurance agents can make decent money from what they are doing, they also get decent pensions.

Moreover, if you invest some money during your active career, you may be able to build a stable retirement fund and may have enough money at the time you want to quit your active career and retire.

Are insurance agent salaries going up?

Insurance agent salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years since competition has become increasingly fierce and many people just go for insurance policies from big players online instead of relying on insurance agents to get things done for them.

In turn, insurance agents are no longer in high demand and their salaries may even drop in the future since many jobs in this field will be lost.

Can you have a positive impact on society as an insurance agent?

While you can help out many people to make their lives safer since they will be protected in case of emergency, you will still not have the same big social impact as teachers or professors who can really shape the thinking process and the attitude towards life of many people out there.

How long does it take to become an insurance agent?

Since you don’t necessarily have to get a fancy degree, you can become an insurance agent right after finishing high school.

Consequently, while many other people have to spend many years on education, you can start making money at a rather young age.

Is it difficult to become an insurance agent?

It is not difficult to become an insurance agent since you don’t need fancy formal education.

What’s more important than looking good on paper is that you have a passion for selling insurance products and that you are not afraid to talk to new people on a daily basis.

Do you need to be smart to work as an insurance agent?

You don’t need to be a genius for working as an insurance agent.

However, you should still understand insurance products well so that you can consult your clients in the best possible manner.

Do insurance agents have a good work-life balance?

Insurance agents have pretty decent work-life balance since they don’t have to work on holidays or on weekends and will also come home from work relatively early.

Do insurance agents have to work many extra hours?

Insurance agents don’t have to work much overtime.

Instead, they will quit their workday relatively early in the late afternoon or early evening and will have more than enough time to meet up with their favorite people after work.

How to maximize your chances of becoming an insurance agent?

The earlier you get experience in this field, the more likely it will be that you will find a job in this industry.

Hence, you should start working as an intern while you are still at school to make important contacts so that you already have a foot in the door when you finish high school and officially apply for jobs in this field.

Can insurance agents work part-time?

Insurance agents are also able to work part-time in theory.

However, in practice, most insurance agents still work full-time since their hourly wage is not that high and they need a full-time job to pay their bills.

Do insurance agents work indoors or outdoors?

Insurance agents work indoors and don’t have to worry about the weather while many other people like roofers have to work outdoors on a regular basis during times of rain or extreme heat and often secretly wish to change places with you.

What does the workplace of an insurance agent look like?

Insurance agents work in a classical office environment.

Thus, you will be surrounded by computers all day long and will also do most of your work using modern technologies while you will not have to work in a heavy physical manner but rather work with your brain.

Do you have to look good for working as an insurance agent?

You don’t need to look good for succeeding as an insurance agent.

However, your looks may still matter for your success at selling things to customers and the better you look, the more money you can make in the long run.

Is an insurance agent career beneficial for your private life?

Being an insurance agent can be beneficial for your private life since you can make decent money while you will still have enough leisure to spend with your loved ones.

Moreover, your knowledge of insurance products can also help you make your own life safer.

Do you need a college degree for becoming an insurance agent?

You don’t urgently need to get a college degree for becoming an insurance agent.

However, it can still help to improve your chances to get a job in this field, especially if you want to work for one of the renowned insurance companies out there.

Do you need to be certified to work as an insurance agent?

You often don’t need to be certified as an insurance agent.

However, if you want to work self-employed, it can help to have certain certifications so that clients will have faith in your abilities.

How much does it cost to become an insurance agent?

Since you don’t need any fancy education for becoming an insurance agent, you can start working in this field at almost no cost.

Therefore, while many of your friends will have to spend lots of time and money on college education and may even have to take on student loans, you don’t have to worry in this regard at all and can rather start making money at a relatively young age.

Is being an insurance agent a good career?

Since you will be able to make decent money while you will not have to work long hours, being an insurance agent can be considered a good career, even though future outlook is rather poor since many jobs will be lost in this industry over the next years.

Is it easy to start your own business as an insurance agent?

It is also relatively easy to start your own business in the insurance industry since you will often not have to spend lots of money on equipment and can also start out as a one-man or one-woman shop until you are able to scale and able to afford to have employees.

Can insurance agents teach themselves?

You can teach yourself most things you need as an insurance agent.

In fact, there are many great free sources out there where you can learn everything you need for succeeding in this field if you are willing to work and study hard.

Do insurance agents make good money?

While insurance agents can make decent money, few of them make really good money and if money and luxury are really important to you, you should not become an insurance agent but rather work as an investment banker, consultant, lawyer or doctor instead.

Is it ever too late to become an insurance agent?

While it is never too late to become an insurance agent, it can still help to start your career relatively early since the younger you are, the more ambitious you are and the better your chances in the job market.

Do insurance agents have to quit their careers early?

Most insurance agents don’t have to quit their careers early since they don’t have to work in a heavy physical manner and can still do their jobs once they get older and get close to retirement age.

What is the most challenging thing about working as an insurance agent?

The most challenging thing about working as an insurance agent is that you always have to stay up-to-date with latest insurance products and that you also know how to deal with difficult people who will often try to bring you down for no reason.

Can you provide for your family by working as an insurance agent?

Since you can make decent money from your job as an insurance agent, you will also have a relatively easy time providing for your family, at least if you don’t live in an extremely expensive region where rents and living costs are pretty high.

Will insurance agents suffer from old-age poverty?

Since insurance agents can make decent money, they will get decent pensions and many of them are also able to save and invest money during their active careers.

In turn, most insurance agents don’t suffer from old-age poverty and don’t have to worry about financial problems that much once they quit their active careers.

Can insurance agents retire early?

Even though insurance agents are able to make decent money, most of them still don’t make enough money to quit their careers early and have to work until they reach official retirement age.

Do insurance agents get a fixed or variable salary?

While insurance agents get a fixed base salary, their overall income will greatly depend on how many policies they sell.

In fact, the more insurance products you sell, the more money you will make and the variable component of your salary will therefore be quite high.

Can you get rich as an insurance agent?

While you can make decent money from what you are doing, you will not become rich as an employed insurance agent.

If you really want to make good money, you have to start your own insurance business instead of working as a regular employee.

Do insurance agents need a second job?

While most insurance agents make enough money and don’t need a second job, some of them might need a second job to pay their bills, especially if they are really bad at what they are doing and don’t sell enough insurance products while living in a pretty expensive region at the same time.

Do you get continuous training as an insurance agent?

You don’t get continuous training as an insurance agent.

Instead, you have to learn everything you need on the job and it is on you to really hone your craft and to get better at what you are doing.

Do you get sick pay as an insurance agent?

Whether you get sick pay or not greatly depends on the company you work for.

If you are not sure in this regard, you should have a look at your labor contract or ask a lawyer in this regard.

Do insurance agents have a high level of responsibility?

You have a high level of responsibility as an insurance agent since it will be on you to advise people on the right insurance products so that they will be covered in case of emergency.

Can insurance agents work abroad?

Insurance agents are needed all over the world.

However, working conditions and salaries in foreign countries are often quite different from what you are used to at home and you should therefore inform yourself in this regard before making this big step to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.

Is it stressful to work as an insurance agent?

Being an insurance agent is not that stressful.

While you will sometimes have to deal with difficult clients, you will still have more than enough leisure to recover from work and to reload your batteries.

Is it boring to work as an insurance agent?

Working as an insurance agent may become boring if you are not passionate about insurance products since you will do the same things over and over again.

Consequently, if you just want to work in this field for the money, you should rather go for a different career you are really interested in so that you stay motivated and happy with what you are doing in the long run.

Is being an insurance agent hard?

Being an insurance agent is not hard since you don’t have to work in a heavy physical manner and also don’t have to stress your brain that much since you can use our modern technologies to make your life at work much easier.

Are insurance agents at risk of burnout?

Since insurance agents don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work, they are also not at great risk of burnout.

Instead, insurance agents have a rather relaxed time at work and while many other people who have to work long hours every day may burn out sooner or later, this risk for you as an insurance agent will be rather low.

Is there a dress code for insurance agents?

If you want to work in the insurance sector, you will often have to dress quite conservatively.

While men often wear fancy suits, women often wear conservative dresses.

What kind of insurance agents are paid the most?

The more insurance products you sell to customers, the more you can make as an insurance agent.

Hence, make sure to hone your selling skills as much as possible if you really want to make good money from your insurance agent career.

What percentage of insurance agents are women?

Around 60% of all insurance agents are women while only 40% are men.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed as a man in this industry. It rather means that more women apply for jobs in this industry.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as an insurance agent?

While you don’t urgently need a mentor to succeed as an insurance agent, it can still help to have someone on your side who can help you overcome difficult times and also give you advice in case you don’t know how to deal with certain situations when you are still a beginner.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as an insurance agent?

It is possible that you will be personally liable for mistakes as an insurance agent.

Hence, make sure to get proper insurance in this regard to be protected in case of emergency.

Do insurance agents have a high life expectancy?

Since insurance agents don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work and will also come home from work relatively early while they are not at great risk of suffering from accidents at work, insurance agents have pretty decent life expectancy.

Do insurance agents suffer from sleeping problems?

Since insurance agents don’t have to work at nighttime but can rather work in a classical 9 to 5 environment, most insurance agents are able to maintain a steady sleeping pattern and don’t suffer from sleeping problems.

What states are best for working as an insurance agent?

Since you can often work remotely as an insurance agent, you should choose a state or a region where living costs are rather low so that you don’t have to spend the majority of your income on rent but can rather use your money on more enjoyable things instead.

Who do insurance agents work with?

Insurance agents work with many different clients every day.

Thus, you should be an open person and not afraid to approach new people on a regular basis if you want to stay happy and successful with what you are doing in the long run.

Is working as an insurance agent cool?

Being an insurance agent is not considered cool by the majority of the general public.

However, if you are really passionate about working in this field, you should still go for it, no matter whether your friends understand your career choice or not.

Can you start a side hustle as an insurance agent?

Since insurance agents don’t have to work long hours, they have more than enough time to start side hustles.

For instance, you could start a YouTube channel or a blog to talk about insurance topics and to build an audience that you could monetize in the long run.

Do you have to be creative as an insurance agent?

You don’t need to be creative as an insurance agent since you will do the same sort of work over and over again and you should rather have good selling skills and decent knowledge of insurance products while creativity will not be that important to succeed in this field.

Do insurance agents suffer from being overweight?

Many insurance agents suffer from being overweight since they work in a classical office job and don’t get sufficient exercise during the day.

Hence, if you don’t want to become overweight, you should go to the gym or do sports after work to burn enough calories to stay in shape in the long run.

How employable are insurance agents?

Since many jobs will be lost in the insurance sector due to AI and machine learning, insurance agents are no longer that employable and will have a hard time competing with big players in this industry who will own the majority of the market in the near future.

Are insurance agents happy with their jobs?

Many insurance agents are pretty happy with their jobs since they can make decent money while they still have pretty decent work-life balance and more than enough time to spend with their families or on their hobbies.

Is working as an insurance agent exciting?

Working as an insurance agent is not that exciting since you will do the same things over and over again and if you are not really passionate about selling insurance products, you may get disappointed with your job pretty soon.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as an insurance agent?

You will not be able to make a big positive impact on our environment as an insurance agent since you will just care about selling as many policies as possible, no matter whether those policies will be beneficial for our planet or not.

What are the pros and cons of working as an insurance agent?

If you are still interested in becoming an insurance agent, you may also want to have a look at additional pros and cons of an insurance agent career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/194232/number-of-us-insurance-brokers-and-service-employees/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/470651/insurance-agents-brokers-and-service-industry-ad-spend-usa/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1040084/insurance-broker-agency-market-size-usa/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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