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Life Insurance Agent Statistics

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Some of the key players who shape the present and the future trajectory of the life insurance industry are the agents who sell policies.

These are the individuals who interact daily with life insurance companies and engage with consumers, educating the latter on the fundamentals of life insurance.

The data below takes an in-depth look at the professional landscape of life insurance, from agent demographics to the potential for growth in the industry.

Employment Within the Insurance Industry (2009 – 2019)

While technological advances may signal fewer jobs in some industries, life insurance is not one of them.

Because most people prefer to purchase life insurance from agents and traditionally underwritten policies need underwriters, there is no shortage of jobs in the industry.

923,000

Between 2009 and 2019, the number of health and life insurance underwriters rose from 802.8 thousand to 923 thousand.

YearlIFE/HEALTHPROPERTY & Casualtyreinsurancetotal
2009802.8632.927.51463.2
2010804.1614.326.81445.2
2011788.9611.625.61426.1
2012811.3599.525.71436.5
2013813.2593.726.21433.1
2014829.0594.725.11448.8
2015829.8611.625.11466.5
2016818.9643.525.31487.7
2017850.4639.726.61516.7
2018882.8629.528.61540.9
2019923.0647.028.51598.5
Source

Table amounts in thousands.

Insurance Agency and Brokerage Employees (2009-2019)

 Agencies/BrokersOther/RelatedTotal
2009653.3254.2907.5
2010642.3253.1895.4
2011649.2261.1910.3
2012659.6272.3931.9
2013672.3283.5955.8
2014720297.11017.1
2015762.8309.11071.9
2016783.5321.51105
2017809.6333.31142.9
2018825.6346.21171.8
2019843.0348.71,191.7

Table amounts in thousands.

843,000

The number of insurance agency and brokerage employees has climbed from 653.3 thousand to 843 thousand over the last decade.

Job Outlook for the Insurance Sector

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry growth highlighted above isn’t expected to slow down.

5%

The job outlook for insurance agents projects a 5% increase in employment between 2019 and 2029.

27,500

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a numeric increase of 27,500 insurance agents by 2029, which is higher than the national average.

Women in the Industry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Current Population Survey shows a steady amount of women working in the insurance industry.

51%

This year, women represent 50.6% of the industry’s insurance sales agents.

Going beyond agents, take a look at the number of women filling multiple roles in the insurance industry.

PositionTotal employees% of women
Actuaries33,000
Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators318,00062.1%
Insurance claims and policy processing clerks269,00081.7%
Insurance sales agents595,00050.6%
Insurance underwriters105,00051.1%

Values where totals were under 50,000 were not disclosed.

Statistically, most women work within insurance claims departments and as policy processing clerks, constituting 82.5% of its workforce.

More than half of the industry’s agents are now women, where it used to be male.

Diversity In the Insurance Agents’ Workforce

To get a clearer picture of the makeup of the insurance industry’s workforce, we turn again to the Current Population Survey.

In addition to surveying the sex of insurance agents and other industry professionals, the survey also looked at race and ethnicity.

The insurance agents surveyed identified as follows:

  • White: 83.3%
  • Black: 8.7%
  • Asian: 5.3%
  • Latino: 11.6%

Where Insurance Agents Worked

For the most part, the greater population a state has, the larger number of agents it can support.

As you might expect, some states like Alaska employ far fewer insurance agents than others like California, Texas, or Florida.

where insurance agents work
Darker states represent a greater number of agents.

Taking all 50 states into account, California employs the most insurance agents at over 41,000, and Wyoming has the least at just 520.

 Employment (1)Hourly mean wageAnnual mean wage (2)
California41,010$36.74$76,420
Florida35,260$30.37$63,180
Texas31,890$30.17$62,760
New York21,230$40.65$84,540
Ohio15,770$29.09$60,500

(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

How Much Insurance Agents Earn (by Location)

Of course, just because there may be a lot of agents in one state doesn’t always correlate to pay.

In many cases, an insurance agent’s earning potential is very much dictated by where, geographically, he or she works.

how much agents earn in each state
Darker states represent higher earnings per year, on average.

Out of all 50 states, insurance agents in Massachusetts averaged the highest income, followed by New York, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

 Employment (1)Hourly mean wageAnnual mean wage (2)
Massachusetts7,030$42.84$89,100
New York21,230$40.65$84,540
Alabama5,550$39.14$81,410
Pennsylvania14,270$38.93$80,970
Connecticut6,190$38.52$80,120

(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

Rise in Remote Work in the Insurance Industry

Each year, the number of individuals working from home grows.

Between 2000 and 2010, the Census reports the number of individuals who work primarily from home increased by 1.6 million workers.

The global pandemic has caused a far sharper uptick in remote work, with a recent Gallup poll suggesting that 58% of Americans are now working from home at least part of the time.

This trend is expected to continue, revolutionizing the makeup of the modern workforce.

75%

According to a recent LinkedIn workforce confidence survey, over 75% of workers in the finance industry feel confident they can excel while working from home.

Life insurance can be sold from virtually anywhere, making home-based work popular for agents across the industry.

If you’re looking for statistics and data on life insurance, the product, please view this page.

Author:

Parker King

Parker King is a researcher and editorial writer with a Masters in Professional Communication from Clemson University. She has years of experience in the nonprofit sector and writing in the world of personal finance, insurance, and other topics.

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