Insurance agents sell life, automotive, health and other forms of insurance. Commercial insurance agents sell to businesses so the commercial agent also sells insurance, such as workman's compensation insurance and electronic data processing insurance. An insurance agent's salary depends on factors, such as his location and the industry where he works and other factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies commercial insurance agents as "insurance sales agents." As of 2009, the average annual salary for an insurance agent was $61,330. Those insurance agents in the 10th percentile earned $25,800 per year; those in the 25th percentile earned $32,810 per year; those in the 50th percentile earned $45,500 per year; those in the 75th percentile earned $69,540 per year; and those in the 90th percentile earned $114,910 per year, the BLS reports.
Salary by Location
In 2009, if an insurance agent worked Rhode Island or Massachusetts, she earned a higher average yearly salary than if she worked in South Dakota or Louisiana. If an insurance agent worked in Rhode Island, her average yearly salary was $80,280; and if she worked in Massachusetts, her average yearly salary was $78,740. Those insurance agents who worked in South Dakota earned an average annual salary of $44,010; and those who worked in Louisiana earned an average salary of $45,000 per year, the BLS reports.
Salary by Industry
In 2009, the management, scientific and technical consulting services industry was the highest paying for this occupation. Those insurance agents who worked in the consulting services industry earned an average annual salary of $72,190. Offices of real estate agents and brokers was the second highest paying industry; where an insurance agent earned an average salary of $63,380 per year. The third highest paying industry was office administrative services. Those who worked in office administrative services earned an average salary of $63,170 per year. Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities was the fourth highest paying industry, where insurance agents earned an average annual salary of $61,660. The insurance carriers industry was the next highest paying industry, where agents earned an average salary of $61,210 per year, the BLS reports.
Other factors that may impact a commercial insurance agent's earnings are his level of experience and if he is paid a commission or bonus. Experienced agents are inclined to earn more than inexperienced agents. Also, some agents are paid by only a salary; others are paid a salary plus commission; and others are paid a salary plus a bonus, according to the BLS. An insurance agent's salary varies depending on his pay structure. This variation is difficult to measure as it also depends on the sales ability of each individual agent.
2016 Salary Information for Insurance Sales Agents
Insurance sales agents earned a median annual salary of $49,990 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, insurance sales agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,500, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $77,140, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 501,400 people were employed in the U.S. as insurance sales agents.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009 41-3021 Insurance Sales Agents
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition Insurance Sales Agents
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Insurance Sales Agents
- Career Trend: Insurance Sales Agents
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