Insurance Sales Agent

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Job Outlook:
Faster than average
Education: High school diploma or equivalent
Work From Home
High: $130,350.00
Average: $76,950.00
Average: $37.00

What they do:

Sell life, property, casualty, health, automotive, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as an independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.

On the job, you would:

  • Customize insurance programs to suit individual customers, often covering a variety of risks.
  • Sell various types of insurance policies to businesses and individuals on behalf of insurance companies, including automobile, fire, life, property, medical and dental insurance, or specialized policies, such as marine, farm/crop, and medical malpractice.
  • Explain features, advantages, and disadvantages of various policies to promote sale of insurance plans.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Insurance sales agents must evaluate the needs of each client to determine the appropriate insurance policy.

Communication skills. Insurance sales agents must listen to clients and be able to clearly explain suitable policies.

Initiative. Insurance sales agents need to actively seek out new clients in order to increase business.

Interpersonal skills. Insurance sales agents must be able to establish trust in networking for prospective clients and in interactions with existing clients, including to handle claims.

Self-confidence. Insurance sales agents should be confident when contacting prospective clients. They must be persuasive and able to maintain composure if rejected.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

93% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
92% Independence  -  Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
89% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
85% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
85% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
84% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
83% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
79% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
78% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
78% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
74% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
72% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
71% Concern for Others  -  Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
66% Social Orientation  -  Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


100% Enterprising  -  Work involves managing, negotiating, marketing, or selling, typically in a business setting, or leading or advising people in political and legal situations. Enterprising occupations are often associated with business initiatives, sales, marketing/advertising, finance, management/administration, professional advising, public speaking, politics, or law.
72% Conventional  -  Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

72% Relationships  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
72% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
67% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
61% Support  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

75% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
75% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
75% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
69% Speech Clarity  -  The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
66% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
66% Speech Recognition  -  The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Job Details

Explain financial information to customers.
Customize financial products or services to meet customer needs.
Calculate costs of goods or services.
Process sales or other transactions.
Customize financial products or services to meet customer needs.
Sell products or services.
Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
Identify potential customers.
Develop professional relationships or networks.
Explain financial information to customers.
Prepare sales or other contracts.
Examine documents to verify adherence to requirements.
Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
Explain financial information to customers.
Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
Take product orders from customers.
Customize financial products or services to meet customer needs.
Review accuracy of sales or other transactions.
Develop marketing plans or strategies.
Attend events to develop professional knowledge.
Study product information to acquire professional knowledge.
Examine condition of property or products.
Install computer software.
Resolve computer software problems.
Manage information technology projects or system activities.
Explain financial information to customers.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

100% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
100% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
99% Deal With External Customers  -  How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
98% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
95% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
93% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
93% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
90% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
88% Time Pressure  -  How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
86% Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results  -  What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
78% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
76% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
72% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
72% Letters and Memos  -  How often does the job require written letters and memos?
71% Level of Competition  -  To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
70% Importance of Repeating Same Tasks  -  How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
67% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
91% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

81% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
75% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
75% Selling or Influencing Others  -  Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
72% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
67% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

What Insurance Sales Agents Do

Insurance sales agents
Insurance sales agents commonly sell one or more types of insurance, such as property and casualty, life, health, and long-term care.

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. These agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose the plans that suit them.


Insurance sales agents typically do the following:

  • Contact potential clients to expand their own customer base
  • Interview prospective clients to get information about their financial situation and discuss existing coverage
  • Explain the features of various insurance policies
  • Analyze clients’ current policies and suggest additions or other changes
  • Customize insurance programs to suit individual clients
  • Handle policy sales and renewals
  • Assist clients with the insurance claims process
  • Maintain client records

Insurance sales agents commonly sell one or more types of insurance, such as property and casualty, life, health, and long-term care.

Property and casualty insurance agents sell policies that protect people and businesses from financial loss resulting from automobile accidents or from fire, theft, and other events that damage property. For businesses, property and casualty insurance also covers claims related to workers’ compensation, product liability, and medical malpractice.

Life insurance agents specialize in selling policies that pay beneficiaries when a policyholder dies. Life insurance agents also sell annuities, which require the policyholder to make a single deposit or a series of payments in exchange for regular disbursements over time.

Health and long-term care insurance agents sell policies that cover some or all of the costs of medical care and of assisted-living services for older adults. They also may sell insurance for dental care and for short- and long-term disability.

Agents may specialize in selling any one of these products or function as generalists providing multiple products.

In addition to offering insurance, these agents may become licensed to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and other securities. This practice is most common with life insurance agents who already sell annuities, but many property and casualty agents also sell financial products.

Many agents market their services to create or expand their own client base. For example, they may make sales calls to people who are not current clients, often through referrals from current clients.

Insurance agents may work for either a single company or several companies.

Captive agents are insurance sales agents who work exclusively for one company. They sell policies provided only by the company that employs them.

Independent insurance agents may sell the policies of several companies to match their clients' needs with the company that offers the best rate and coverage.

Insurance brokers work for insurance brokerage firms. They represent their clients, rather than insurers, and may offer advice about competing companies' rates, coverage, and reputation. Like agents, brokers may be either captive or independent; however, because independent brokers are not associated with insurance companies, they must involve an insurer or insurance agent to complete a sale.

Work Environment

Insurance sales agents held about 536,800 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of insurance sales agents were as follows:

Insurance agencies and brokerages 61%
Self-employed workers 11
Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers 9
Direct health and medical insurance carriers 5

Most insurance sales agents work in office settings, although they may spend time traveling to meet with clients.

Work Schedules

Most insurance sales agents work full time.

Getting Started

Bachelor's Degree
Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)

How to Become an Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance sales agents
Agents must be licensed in the states where they plan to work.

Insurance sales agents typically need a high school diploma to enter the occupation. However, employers may prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. Agents must be licensed in the states where they work.


A high school diploma is typically required for insurance sales agents. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business.


Insurance sales agents learn many of their duties on the job, such as by shadowing an experienced agent. New agents learn about insurance products, the sales process, and how to interact with clients.

Employers often expect agents to stay abreast of changes in tax laws, government benefits programs, and other state and federal regulations that may affect clients’ insurance needs and the way in which agents conduct business. Agents may take continuing education to meet employer expectations.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Insurance sales agents must have a license in the states where they work. Separate licenses are required for agents to sell life and health insurance and property and casualty insurance. In most states, licenses are issued only to applicants who complete specified courses and who pass state exams covering insurance fundamentals and state insurance laws. Most state licensing authorities also require agents to take continuing education courses focusing on topics such as insurance laws, consumer protection, ethics, and the technical details of various insurance policies.

Some insurance sales agents also sell securities and other financial products. To do so, they must become licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA's Series 6 exam is for agents who want to sell financial products, such as municipal fund securities, mutual funds, and variable annuities. Its Series 7 exam is the main FINRA series license, which qualifies agents as general securities sales representatives.

A number of organizations offer certifications that show an agent’s expertise in insurance specialties. These certifications are not required for employment, but they may give job candidates an advantage over other applicants. For details on specific designations, contact The Institutes and The American College of Financial Services.

Job Outlook

Employment of insurance sales agents is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 48,300 openings for insurance sales agents are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Because the profitability of insurance companies depends on a steady stream of new customers, the demand for insurance sales agents is expected to continue. Employment growth will likely be strongest for independent sales agents as insurance companies rely more on brokerages and less on captive agents in an effort to control costs.

Many clients do their own research and purchase insurance online, which reduces demand for an insurance sales agent’s services. However, agents will still be needed to help clients understand their options and choose a policy that is right for them. Many customers lack the time or expertise to study the different types of insurance to decide what they need and so they will continue to rely on advice from insurance sales agents.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about insurance sales agents, visit

National Association of Professional Insurance Agents

Insurance Information Institute

For more information about insurance sales agents in the healthcare industry, visit

National Association of Health Underwriters

For more information about certifications, visit

The Institutes

The American College of Financial Services

For more information about securities licensure, visit

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Information about insurance sales agent licensure is available from state insurance department websites.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of insurance sales agents.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives

Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations.

See How to Become One $67,750
Advertising sales agents Advertising Sales Agents

Advertising sales agents sell advertising space to businesses and individuals.

High school diploma or equivalent $58,450
Real estate brokers and sales agents Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents

Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties.

High school diploma or equivalent $52,030
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents connect buyers and sellers in financial markets.

Bachelor's degree $67,480
Sales managers Sales Managers

Sales managers direct organizations' sales teams.

Bachelor's degree $130,600
Insurance underwriters Insurance Underwriters

Insurance underwriters evaluate insurance applications and decide whether to approve them.

Bachelor's degree $76,230
Personal financial advisors Personal Financial Advisors

Personal financial advisors provide advice to help individuals manage their money and plan for their financial future.

Bachelor's degree $95,390

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.