Home Jobs & Education How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?

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insurance-agentInsurance agents work for insurance companies to help generate new business by expanding their customer base and selling multiple types of insurance.

Insurance agents are typically responsible for calling potential customers, interviewing prospective clients, explaining insurance features, customizing insurance programs to suit customer needs, maintaining policy records, and settling claims. Insurance agents sell property, life, health, automobile, and many more kinds of insurance, depending on the company of employment.

Salary
How much does an insurance agent make? According to the May 2012 records from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average insurance agent salary is $63,400 per year. In other words, the 336,740 insurance agents employed in the United States earn a mean hourly wage of $30.48. The bottom ten percent makes an average $26,120, while the top ten percent breaks the six-figure mark with a mean annual salary of $116,940.

Insurance agents employed in insurance brokerages earn an average salary of $63,390, but those that work in travel arrangement and reservation services earn significantly less at $50,270. The top-paying industry for agents is in securities and commodity brokerages, where they can earn an average $92,170 salary. Throughout the entire nation, insurance agents in Rhode Island receive the highest annual salary of $87,130.

State Hourly Wage Average Salary Number of Jobs
Alabama $26.20 $54,490 5,540
Alaska $26.78 $55,710 420
Arizona $27.27 $56,730 6,840
Arkansas $23.93 $49,780 2,830
California $36.23 $75,360 28,500
Colorado $28.95 $60,210 7,720
Connecticut $30.29 $63,000 5,070
Delaware $27.46 $57,110 1,110
Florida $30.73 $63,910 23,660
Georgia $29.48 $61,310 10,100
Hawaii $24.66 $51,280 1,080
Idaho $27.68 $57,570 1,070
Illinois $35.39 $73,620 16,830
Indiana $32.06 $66,680 6,910
Iowa $24.42 $50,790 5,220
Kansas $28.38 $59,020 4,180
Kentucky $32.09 $66,750 4,340
Louisiana $25.22 $52,450 7,060
Maine $26.46 $55,040 1,620
Maryland $34.83 $72,440 5,800
Massachusetts $39.05 $81,230 6,590
Michigan $26.51 $55,140 11,570
Minnesota $28.59 $59,470 5,350
Mississippi $26.64 $55,410 2,750
Missouri $29.15 $60,640 9,680
Montana $27.10 $56,370 1,440
Nebraska $25.67 $53,390 3,120
Nevada $25.67 $53,400 2,170
New Hampshire $34.48 $71,710 1,260
New Jersey $33.84 $70,390 8,160
New Mexico $22.70 $47,210 1,250
New York $38.00 $79,030 18,490
North Carolina $27.35 $56,890 8,960
North Dakota $26.99 $56,140 1,090
Ohio $30.75 $63,970 13,960
Oklahoma $27.58 $57,360 3,720
Oregon $29.37 $61,080 3,580
Pennsylvania $35.96 $74,810 16,850
Rhode Island $41.89 $87,130 1,270
South Carolina $22.89 $47,600 5,910
South Dakota $28.04 $58,320 1,700
Tennessee $26.11 $54,320 6,120
Texas $25.93 $53,930 29,790
Utah $29.43 $61,210 2,480
Vermont $32.06 $66,680 720
Virginia $29.27 $60,880 8,060
Washington $25.84 $53,750 6,100
West Virginia $21.61 $44,950 1,720
Wisconsin $28.70 $59,690 5,910
Wyoming $22.33 $46,460 510
Data courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment
More than 55 percent of insurance agents are employed by insurance brokerages to sell insurance policies for several different companies. Although others work directly for a single insurance company carrier, over 75 percent insurance agents work within the insurance industry. Since some agencies are quite small, insurance agents may work individually or with only a few other agents. They usually have the flexibility of setting their own hours, but most schedule night or weekend meetings to accommodate clients’ schedules. Most agents work full-time, although some work significantly more than 40 hours weekly completing paperwork and presentations on off hours.

Employment for insurance agents is expected to grow faster than average at 22 percent between 2010 and 2020. As the economy continues getting its feet back on the ground, the insurance industry will reflect this by creating more demand for insurance policies. Although some predict that the ability to purchase insurance online will negatively impact the profession, insurance agents will continue to play a crucial role in the insurance industry to help clients decide the best researched insurance quotes.

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