How Much Money Do Insurance Agents Make?

One of the most common questions asked by students who enroll in America’s Professor’s online insurance agent exam preparation courses is a fairly obvious one: “How much money can I expect to make?” The good news is, most insurance agents can expect to make well above the average median income. While the exact amount of money an individual insurance agent makes can vary wildly between agents, statistics regarding the earnings of insurance agents in the U.S. shows that most of them are capable of making a comfortable income from their work.

Insurance agent salary

Insurance Agent Income

The most recent government data regarding the average income of American insurance agents was compiled in 2012. According to that data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The median annual wage for insurance agents was $48,150.
  • The highest paid 10% of insurance agents earned more than $116,940 annually.
  • The lowest paid 10% of insurance agents earned less than $26,120 annually.

As the numbers show, there is a wide range of possible incomes for insurance agents. Because the amount of money insurance agents earn is comprised largely of commissions and bonuses, the number of sales an insurance agent makes is the biggest factor that contributes to the disparity between the highest and lowest paid of insurance agents. Factors such as the price of the plans they sell and the type of insurance they specialize in also contribute to the wide range of incomes for insurance agents.

How Do Insurance Agent Incomes Compare to the Average?

According to the most recent census data, the average median salary for an American worker is $26,695 per year. If you were paying attention to numbers regarding the income of insurance agents, above, you’ve probably already noticed that the average median income in the insurance industry is nearly twice that of the average median income per person. With the lowest 10% of insurance agents earning around $26,120, even those insurance agents who are paid below the industry average can expect to be making more than the average American income.

More Good News for Insurance Agents

In addition to the already high earning potential of insurance agents, the same Bureau of Labor Statistics report that recorded insurance agent incomes in 2012 also notes that the industry is expected to do nothing but grow. By 2022 the insurance industry is expected to have grown by at least 10% from where it was in 2012, and the demands of an increasingly aging population and federal regulations such as the Affordable Care Act are only creating more demand for insurance among American consumers. If things look good for insurance agents now, they’re only going to get better.

If you’re interested in having a lucrative career as an insurance agent, the first step you have to take is to become licensed in your state. America’s Professor offers online video prep courses for multiple state licensing exams, taught by industry professionals with combined decades of experience in the field. You can register today or learn more by calling 800-870-3130.

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22 responses to “How Much Money Do Insurance Agents Make?”

  1. […] a motivating factor for some of those looking to gain a job in the insurance industry. The insurance agent salary of the highest 75 percentile rang in at about $73,650, while the lowest 25 percentile came in at […]

  2. Barbara Sellner says:

    I was curious because on a Dave Ramsey radio show, a caller came in saying she was an insurance. And she made $400,000.00 per year. She didn’t go into more details than that. I was wondering what kind of insurance agent makes that lind of money?????

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Barbara, She probably has a very large book of business! There are a lot of different types of agents/producers she could be. She could have a lot of Property and Casualty commercial policies or possibly she sells a lot of Medicare supplements. There are many different areas of insurance that you can make good money!

  3. April Buie says:

    How do you go about obtaining the licensure for casualty and property?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi April, Usually you take a pre-licensing course to prepare for the exam, sign up and take the licensing exam (pass!), go through a background check and apply for your license with the state. Give us a call if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  4. Fred B says:

    Which is more lucrative, personal insurance or commercial?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Fred, I guess it just depends on who you talk to but from a licensing stand point you might as well get a full Property and Casualty license (Personal + Commercial) so you don’t have to look back at the pre-licensing process in the future. Commercial accounts usually pay really well but they don’t tend to come along as often as personal accounts do for most producers. Usually us see a bit of diversification with both types of policies being sold.

  5. Bruce Kennedy says:

    The insurance industry is very lucrative. If you are creative and have a team of producers working in the field with you, you can definitely earn $400,000 a year or more. It is not uncommon for our first year reps to earn over $125,000 as a sole producer. The stats on the internet showing incomes of $26,000 are very misleading. This is through static insurance systems that purposely control and restrict your income. Independent reps with appointments to multiple insurance company’s can earn a exceptionally good living. Yes, it is more then possible to earn 400k annually in the insurance sales world. Hope that helps

  6. pedro padilla says:

    how can I become an insurance agent

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Pedro, You’ll first want to look at the requirements in your state (see your state’s Department of Insurance – Agent licensing section). Usually you will take a pre-licensing course and then pass your insurance exam. After applying for, and receiving, your license you are ready to go to work for an insurance agency. Please give us a call if you have any questions. Good luck!

  7. nick m says:

    how much of a commission does my farmers insurance agent make on my home and auto policies which total $5,848 per year

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Nick, Thank you for your question but that’s a little beyond our knowledge. We work will a lot of different agencies but none of them usually get that specific as I believe it changes from year-to-year and is also based on the type of policy. Maybe someone else reading this post will share some incite.

  8. Tanya C says:

    I am an insurance producer now and I only receive about 50% of the premium for each policy. But I am wondering is this typical? I am new to this job and get frustrated because I am wondering how someone could even live off of this? I have not seen a paycheck yet and have been doing a lot of foot work and traveling and wondering is this even worth it? please any advice is helpful

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Tanya, maybe try approaching your employer and ask if you could be moved to a salary for the first year while you build a book of business. Different employers have different compensation methods like salary only, commission only or a mix of the two. You would have to ask around to see what commission sharing is common with other insurers as this is something we aren’t familiar with. Good luck!

  9. Debra Miller says:

    I’m considering getting my 215 license, would this be a good starter license? I’ve been working in retail for 30 years and need a change. Is it too late for me to get started at almost 50? Please lead in in the right direction.
    Thank You!

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hello Debra, It’s never too late to get started in insurance! What state are you in? When you say 2-15 are you referring to a Life and Health license in Florida? If you’d like to like to give us a call it might be easier. Thanks!

  10. Charles Marr says:

    Hi I’m Charles I’m 21 and looking to get into insurance but I am scared of commission. I cant go in and not make much the company that wants me is American income life any advuce?

    • America's Professor - DCM says:

      Hi Charles, Different companies have different compensation models. If you want to find a company with a salary option, or part salary and commission, I suggest you research more companies as an option. Each one varies a bit I’m sure. There are a lot of people who are in your same position! Good luck!

  11. Getachew says:

    Where do you recommend for study guide or for class to be certify insurance agent

  12. Jeannie says:

    I am an life insurance producer. It is very possible to make $400,000. Definitely need to continue getting educated on obtaining different licenses to work up to the high paying commission products. You left out annuities… Retirement planning is the way to go… Rollover 401K , 403b, CD’s, company retirement IRA’s etc.. It’s a no brainer. Love my job! People are very grateful for our help..

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