Insurance sales representatives help people find the best insurance policies that meet their needs. Some insurance agents focus exclusively on one product like life insurance, while others offer multiple lines of insurance in areas like health insurance, property and casualty insurance and even various financial products. The salary for insurance sales agents depends largely on what they produce as salespeople. It can take some time to build a substantial salary, but after the first year in the industry salaries can increase substantially.
The average salary of insurance sales agents nationwide was $61,330, as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure was based on the employment of 325,710 insurance sales agents nationwide, including both novice and seasoned insurance agents. The median salary of these agents was $45,500, while the majority of sales agents made between $32,810 and $69,540.
The salary of insurance sales agents tends to vary by years of experience in the field. It may be tempting to assume that first year agents struggle in the industry and make considerably less than agents who survive the first year. However, a survey of 3,225 sales agents by PayScale, Inc., indicates that insurance agents made $25,054 to $38,562 during their first year, as of May 2011. Agents who worked one to four years in the industry made similar salaries of $24,377 to $37,070. After four years in the industry, the average salary range increased to $28,103 to $43,154 per year. Agents who worked 10 to 19 years made between $30,337 and $49,776, while those with 20 or more years in the field made between $32,914 and $62,622.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of insurance agents worked primarily for insurance agencies and brokerages. The bureau notes that 229,140 agents were employed by these types of companies and made an average salary of $61,660 per year in May 2009. The next largest group of insurance agents worked directly for insurance carriers and made an average annual salary of $61,210.
The bonus pay earned by insurance sales agents also seems to follow the same pattern as the salaries earned by those with varying years of experience. First-year agents made slightly more than agents with one to four years of experience. First year agents made $2,045 in annual bonuses, while those with one to four years of experience made $1,528 per year, as of May 2011, according to PayScale. Agents with five to nine years of experience made an average bonus of $1,983, while those with 10 to 19 years of experience made $2,067. Those with over 20 years of experience made a bonus of $2,394 per year.