Life insurance agent salary: Everything you need to know

How much do life insurance agents make?

Do life insurance agents have the highest paying sales jobs in the industry? Is being a life insurance agent a good career path? These are just some of the topics the insurance company will discuss in this article.

Aside from pay, we’ll delve deeper into what it takes to succeed in the profession, along with the benefits and drawbacks. If you are considering becoming a life insurance agent as a possible career, this piece can be a useful guide. For those who are already in the profession, this article can give you an idea of how much your peers earn across the country. Read and learn more about the potential earnings of a life insurance agent.

How much do life insurance agents earn?
The average annual salary for life insurance agents ranges from $62,000 to $76,000. These numbers are based on estimates from several job sites that use insurance businesses to search. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also released the most recent Occupational Employment and Wages Statistics (OEWS), and estimates the annual median to be about $77,000, although this figure relates to all types of insurance agents.

For this piece, we will refer to data collected by this site, which ranks states and major cities according to average salary. You can also see BLS’ OEWS Forecasts for additional information. The table below reveals percentage pay estimates for life insurance agents across the country.

How much life insurance agents make, pay scale 

Percentile Annual wage Monthly wage Hourly wage 
10th $39,000 $3,250 $19 
25th $49,000 $4,083 $24 
50th (Median) $62,552 $5,213 $30 
75th $79,000 $6,583 $38 
90th $99,000 $8,250 $48 

How much life insurance make agents make based on experience level 

Experience level Annual wage Monthly wage Hourly wage 
Entry $37,500 $3,125 $18.03 
Mid $64,100 $5,342 $30.84 
Senior $73,100 $6,092 $35.12 

You also can view the wage estimates for insurance agents in general, along with the highest- and lowest-paying states and regions in the US, in this guide on how much insurance agents make.  

Life insurance commission rates
Insurance agents receive the highest commission rates for whole life insurance plans, often more than 100% of total premiums for the first year of the policy. The exact percentage depends on the age of the policyholder.

Universal life insurance commission rates
Agents typically earn a commission equal to at least 100% of the premiums paid by the policyholder in the first year up to the target premium amount for comprehensive life insurance plans. However, the rate decreases for any premiums paid by the insured above the target level in the first year.

Life insurance commission rates
Life insurance plans pay the lowest commission, often a percentage of annual premiums between 30% and 80%.

Life insurance plays an important role in providing families with some level of financial security after the death of a loved one. With the right policy, this type of coverage can help families pay off loans and debts and cover daily living expenses. You can learn more about how this type of protection works by reviewing our comprehensive guide to life insurance.

Life insurance agents can be salaried employees of an insurance agency. These agents receive a base salary and employee benefits, but are often required to meet a monthly sales quota.

What factors affect how much insurance agents work?
There are three main variables that affect how much life insurance agents make. here they are:

  1. Agent type
    Captive life insurance agents, who work exclusively with one insurance company, typically earn lower commissions than independent life insurance agents, who represent several insurance companies. The catch is that independent agents are often responsible for their own business expenses such as rent, office supplies, and advertising costs.
  2. The type of policy
    The commission rates for whole and comprehensive life insurance plans are often much higher than those for life insurance policies. However, agents must ensure that their clients are able to meet the installment payments. If the policyholder stops paying and lets their policies lapse within the first few years, insurance companies may require agents to pay back some of the money they earned in commissions.

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