Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2021

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The Lowdown

  • Life insurance agents make anywhere from $58,000 to $89,000 annually, depending on where they live
  • In some U.S. states, life insurance agents are required to pass a licensing exam
  • Many life insurance agents quit the profession because of the overwhelming time commitment

If you’re interested in selling life insurance, one of your first questions is probably, “how much does a life insurance agent make?”

Life insurance agents are responsible for explaining different life insurance options, selling life insurance plans from different companies, and answering policyholders’ questions.

If you’re interested in learning more about whole or term life insurance or looking to purchase a life insurance policy, one of the best things to do is research different companies and rates online.

You can use our free quote tool above to find and compare life insurance rates online to see which companies offer the best deals.

How much does a life insurance agent make?

An insurance agent’s salary will vary based on the products they sell, where they live, and more. For life insurance, some agents are commission-based, while others receive a set annual salary.

The table below gives the average annual salaries for life insurance agents in the different U.S. states:

StateAnnual Salary
New Hampshire$87,121
New Jersey$75,263
New Mexico$69,053
New York$89,872
North Carolina$58,753
North Dakota$73,563
Rhode Island$74,664
South Carolina$68,947
South Dakota$71,414
West Virginia$78,092

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As you can see, where you live as a life insurance agent can have a tremendous impact on how much money you make.

You may be wondering, “how much does a life insurance agent make in commission?” or “how much does a life insurance agent make their first year?”

The answers to questions like these depend on where the agent lives, the company the agent works for, whether the agent receives company leads, and more.

If you’re interested in selling life insurance products in your state, speak to a life insurance company or different insurance agents to see what the job is like, what qualifications you need to meet, and whether the career would be the right fit for you.

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How can I become a life insurance agent?

Learning how to become a life insurance agent may seem a bit daunting at times.

Like many other jobs, the career of a life insurance agent has a bit of a learning curve. It will take time to meet all the standards and requirements in order to get your first job as an agent.

Most companies do not require any sort of educational background in order to become a life insurance agent. However, some companies will require that you have a few years of experience before they hire you.

In certain states, you may have to take a licensing test in order to sell insurance products, so you will want to do your research to learn what your state requires.

Getting hired as a life insurance agent is the easy part. Once you find a job, the hard work begins.

Why do a lot of life insurance agents quit?

The life insurance agent career does not have a high retention rate. Plenty of individuals start as life insurance agents but move on to other careers. If you’re wondering why, you’re not alone.

When ex-life insurance agents are interviewed to see why they left the career, many of them say the work was too much to keep up with. In addition, selling life insurance products and recruiting individuals to purchase different policies is exhausting.

As people want to start families, they find that the job of a life insurance agent is too time-consuming. They often move on to find something more suitable than discussing whole life insurance policy types for hours on end.

The prospect of constant rejection, and sometimes even hostility, is another aspect of the job that wears on life insurance agents over time.

If you know you don’t want to spend all your time working, or if you know you’re sensitive to rejection, the job of a life insurance agent may not be the best fit for you.

Are there benefits to becoming a life insurance agent?

As is true with many other careers, there are positives and negatives to being a life insurance agent. Though some agents find it hard to keep up with the work for long periods of time, they sincerely enjoy things about the job.

First, life insurance agents can make good money. This is especially true if an agent receives a significant commission off insurance sales. The annual salary is what makes most life insurance agents maintain their careers.

Life insurance agents will probably not have a difficult time finding a job. There are countless insurance companies that depend on life insurance agents to sell their products.

Lastly, life insurance agents have the opportunity to receive passive income based on their previous sales. Agents can continue to receive a commission on their sales every year a policyholder renews a policy. So, income for an agent can grow over time.

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Should I become a life insurance agent?

If you are looking for a new career and are open to spending a good amount of time perfecting your craft, selling life insurance may be a good career for you.

As a life insurance agent, it’s important that you relate well to people, communicate clearly and effectively, and take your time answering different questions.

If you’d like to learn more about different life insurance products, or if you want to buy life insurance, enter your ZIP code into our free tool below to compare different life insurance rates in your area today.