What is the average life insurance agent’s salary?

A life insurance agent's salary can vary depending on where they live and what company they work for. On average, a life insurance agent makes about $64,857 per year but they could nearly double that amount in some cases. Life insurance agents can opt to work captively for larger insurance companies or as independent agents to sell a variety of life insurance policies from different companies.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2022

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The Rundown

  • Life insurance agents can easily make over $60,000 a year full-time
  • A life insurance agent’s salary depends on where they live, what company they work for, and whether or not they sell additional insurance products
  • Life insurance agents can work solely for one insurance company or as an independent agent to sell a variety of life insurance products from different companies

If you’re considering becoming a life insurance agent, you’ll want to have clear expectations regarding a life insurance agent’s salary which can vary based on several factors. Knowing how to navigate the life insurance workplace can help you earn more money as a life insurance agent. Who wouldn’t want a higher income?

To help you gain more insight about a life insurance agent’s salary, we’ll break down an assortment of life insurance salary statistics, which companies pay best, and a handful of employer reviews so that you can feel confident choosing a life insurance company as your employer.

How much is a life insurance agent’s salary?

As with most occupations, a life insurance agent’s salary can vary depending on factors such as the employer, work experience, licensure, and even where they live. Becoming an insurance agent can be a potentially lucrative career in some cases.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average insurance sales agent makes $51,180 per year or roughly $25.08 per hour. This average would include all types of insurance and all experience levels, not solely life insurance sales.

A life insurance sales agent’s salary is largely dependent on a person’s commitment to the work, which is apparent when reviewing statistics that include the entire range of salaries for agents. The ranges aren’t entirely clear, but we’ve compiled sample statistics from multiple organizations below, along with an average for the mean, minimum, and maximum salary based on the selected data.

Sample Life Insurance Agent Salary Data
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Using this data, the average across the United States is over $60,000. This is a decent salary considering you could potentially become a life insurance agent with nothing more than a high school diploma and your associated licensure. Below, you can see how salaries may vary depending on where you reside.

Life Insurance Agent's Salary by State According to ZipRecruiter for the Highest and Lowest-Paying States
StateAnnual SalaryMonthly PayHourly Wage
New York$89,872 $7,489 $43.21
New Hampshire$87,121 $7,260 $41.89
Vermont$82,353 $6,863 $39.59
Wyoming$80,242 $6,687 $38.58
Maine$80,085 $6,674 $38.50
Michigan$64,491 $5,374 $31.01
Illinois$64,218 $5,352 $30.87
Texas$63,745 $5,312 $30.65
Missouri$63,096 $5,258 $30.33
North Carolina$58,753 $4,896 $28.25
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The table above reveals that many Northeast or New England states are among the top of the list for income from a geological perspective. You can expect to earn more as a life insurance agent in these states, but the cost of living might also be higher.

The variance by state is significant regardless, considering a $30,000 annual salary difference between the highest-earning state (New York) and lowest-earning State (North Carolina).

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How do life insurance agents make money?

A licensed insurance agent’s salary can depend on a number of factors as mentioned above. What determines how much a life insurance agent makes? There are a handful of variables listed below:

  • Where the agent lives
  • Licensure
  • Employment status (full-time or part-time)
  • Captive vs. independent
  • Employer

It’s obvious that the region you live in will play a role in how much you can earn as a life insurance agent. If there’s nobody nearby to sell to, you insurance commissions may be limited. In most cases, an insurance sales salary is largely dependent on volume.

Since volume, or the number of policies you sell, is an important component of a life insurance agent’s salary, obtaining additional licensure could be of benefit to you as an agent. This simply indicates that you may eventually want to obtain additional insurance sales credentials to sell different insurance policies, such as health or auto insurance.

Many companies, such as Allstate or State Farm, sell a myriad of insurance products that you could capitalize on with the right credentials. Allstate and State Farm, among many other major insurers, use captive insurance agents who usually work full-time.

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A captive insurance agent is only allowed to sell insurance products from their employer, whereas an independent agent can sell products from multiple insurance companies. Most name-brand insurance companies hire captive agents which ultimately indicates that independent agents can’t sell those products.

Independent agents tend to have more flexibility with pricing and policy options, but captive agents often get leads simply because they work for a company that advertises frequently. Overall, the company or style of insurance sales you select can play a major role in your income potential.

What are the best life insurance companies to work for?

There are many life insurance companies to choose from when searching for an employer. Each company will offer different benefits that may or may not be of interest to you. For example, some employers might pay better while others encourage a strong work-life balance.

Glassdoor offers some insight into the overall employee experience with insurance companies. According to this information, some of the top-rated life insurance companies for employees include:

  • Primerica (4.0 stars)
  • Globe Life (3.9 stars)
  • Family First Life (4.5 stars)
  • Allianz (4.3 stars)
  • Kemper (4.0 stars)
  • Mutual of Omaha (3.9 stars)
  • Munich Re (4.3 stars)

You may notice that many larger companies aren’t listed above. The majority of bigger companies are rated significantly below 4.0 stars for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to read employee reviews before you commit to an employment contract.

Even with the list above, Globe Life and Mutual of Omaha are among the more popular life insurance providers and have the lowest employee ratings. It might be worthwhile to take a deeper look into why those ratings aren’t as high.

A Life Insurance Agent’s Salary: The Bottom Line

Becoming a life insurance agent could be a great option for anyone interested in joining the insurance sales force. Life insurance agents can earn a stable income with minimal initial education-associated debt. Your credentials and location play a significant role in how much you can earn as a life insurance agent.

We hope you enjoyed discovering more about a life insurance agent’s salary. Learn more about how much insurance agents make selling other insurance products.

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