Life insurance is one of the most important financial safeguards to have in place against an unexpected loss. People die every single day and life insurance can help families financially when an an unexpected death occurs. The life insurance industry is full of many different professions that are constantly evolving the industry and opening new doors for individuals. There are different specialties in life insurance that are better suited for people with different skillsets. So how many different jobs are available in life insurance? What are some of the qualifications required for people to work in this industry and what kind of earning potential is there for specific positions?
In this guide, we will explore some of the best paying jobs in life insurance. We will also take a further look into the life insurance industry as a whole and get a better idea of the future job market in this field.
Best Paying Jobs in Life Insurance
Below are the different salary ranges for different positions in life insurance.
As you can see from the data above, the highest-paid jobs in life insurance are in agency ownership and management. They are also the hardest to reach but can be extremely lucrative. Let’s take a look at each role in a bit more detail to get a more accurate idea of the responsibilities, qualifications, job overview, and compensation breakdown.
Life Insurance Agent
The driving force behind life insurance is the agents. They are the salespeople that reach out to families, educate them and provide them with information regarding how life insurance can help them. It’s perhaps one of the most lucrative paying jobs in life insurance, but also has the highest turnover rate. The reason due to the high turnover is that making it as a life insurance agent can be extremely difficult. In addition to the position being commission only, you have to be willing to face a ton of rejection to make a sale. Most people tend to last an average of 6 months before calling it quits. However, for the few that make it work, you can make some serious money.
Responsibilities: A life insurance agent gives clients quotes on different life insurance policies for clients and provides them with different options depending on their financial needs. As an agent, you are paid commission only on the yearly premium you sell to clients. Depending on the carrier and agency you are with the commission split can range from 55% on the low end to 140% on the high end.
So if you sell a client a policy that costs them $1,000 in the yearly premium you can potentially make anywhere between $550 to $1,400. In addition to the commission, you will usually make anywhere from 5%-10% in renewals for each year the client keeps their policy with you. This is just for a single policy and many agents sell multiple policies per week.
- Life and health insurance license
- Sales experience
Earnings Potential: $0 – uncapped
The pay scale for life insurance agents can vary significantly. There are many factors that can impact earnings such as:
- The agency you are with
- The type of life insurance you sell
- State in which you sell life insurance
- Lead generation source
Life Insurance Agency Owner
Another lucrative career path in life insurance is becoming a life insurance agency owner. This will first require you to make it as a successful life insurance agent and open up your own agency. This is no easy task and will require years of experience in selling life insurance. In addition to being a successful life insurance agent, you should have a natural ability to lead and manage people.
Responsibilities: A life insurance agency owner manages a small to mid-sized sales organization full of other life insurance agents. As an owner, you are responsible for training other life insurance agents and helping them become successful. This is no easy task and requires a ton of personal sacrifice and knowledge of the industry.
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As an owner, you are responsible to ensure your agents hold the proper licensing and perform their job with the utmost integrity and honesty. You should be able to manage people and have strong character as this is one of the most competitive sales industries.
- Life insurance and health insurance license
- Additional life insurance management licensing for agency ownership
- Management experience
- 3 years experience as a life insurance agent
Earnings Potential: $100,000 – uncapped
Agency owners make at least in the low six figures with uncapped earnings potential. As an owner, you’re not directly selling life insurance yourself. Instead, you manage agents who sell on your agency’s behalf. For every policy your agents sell you make a small commission. As such, you have a direct incentive to ensure your agents are successful. In addition to this, you will receive renewal commissions for each year clients keep their policy with your agency.
Life Insurance Actuary
A life insurance actuary is a unique position that many people aren’t even aware of. Actuaries use complex mathematical models and statistics to derive the costs and risks associated with providing a life insurance policy. If you enjoy working with numbers and have a data-driven mindset, this is a job that offers that and much more.
Responsibilities: Actuaries work to help determine premiums and manage the underlying risk of issuing a life insurance policy. They are instrumental in helping ensure life insurance companies set the correct premium for the amount of risk they are taking. The work may be boring for people who have an extroverted personality.
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in math or statistics
- Pass your states Actuary exam
- Actuarial science degree
Earning Potential: $110,000 – $175,000
Actuaries are very well compensated for the work they do. If you have a bachelor’s degree along with the necessary actuary certifications you can make well above $100,000 per year. On the high end, if you have 5+ years of experience working as an actuary you should be making a minimum of $150,000 per year depending on the insurance company you work for.
Life Insurance Trust Administrator
A life insurance trust administrator is a very specialized position. Trust administrators manage and keep track of life insurance trust and changes that occur within them. This is a position that requires many years of experience and is more of a management position within insurance companies.
Responsibilities: Trust administrators interact with trust beneficiaries and administer the distribution of trust assets in accordance with the life insurance policy. They help to address taxation issues related to the management of the trust and how tax law changes will impact future treatment of the trust proceeds.
Trust admins also perform regular reviews of all life insurance policies and ensure they meet quarterly and annual reporting standards. This is just a small scope of the roles and responsibilities of trust admins. Although the job itself can be boring it serves an extremely important function within a life insurance organization. For a more comprehensive breakdown of the role check out the following article > The Many Duties and Responsibilities of ILIT Trustees
- Bachelors or Masters in Business Administration (typically from a top 10 school)
- CPA or law degree depending on specialty of role
- Tax certifications
- Past experience in life insurance
Earning Potential: $100,000 – $150,000
Life insurance trust admins are well compensated and have a ton of responsibility to life insurance organizations. The earning potential increases the longer you stay within a company and the more licenses you get that are relevant to the position.
Life Insurance Underwriter
A life insurance underwriter accesses your age, gender, current health records, medical history, occupation, hobbies, and other relevant information to determine a fair premium amount to charge. They will do their best to access the likelihood of someone dying versus different factors like age, gender, and more.
Responsibilities: Life insurance underwriters review life insurance applications, schedule medical exams, access medical results, and review important data in order to accurately set a fair premium for a life insurance policy. Underwriters also make the final decision on whether or not to extend life insurance coverage to people looking to get protection. It’s an important position that is meant to access risk and protect a life insurance company from extending coverage to individuals that pose a high death risk to the company.
- Bachelor’s degree
- Necessary underwriting licensing and certification
Earning Potential: $75,000 – $125,000
Life insurance underwriters have the potential to earn up to 125k on the high end in management roles. This is a very recession-proof career and has plenty of work-from-home flexibility for people who don’t want to commute.
Life Insurance Claims Adjuster
Life insurance claims adjusters hold a very important role within life insurance companies. People die every day and life insurance claims adjusters are on the front lines when death comes knocking. They have to be able to process important information quickly and have a passion for customer service. This can be a stressful job as it requires people to move quickly as claims come in.
Responsibilities: Claims adjusters are responsible for reviewing death claims and death certificates from coroners. They are also responsible for reviewing a client’s life insurance policy and quickly making arrangements to pay claims out to families. Claims adjusters have to have extreme attention to detail to ensure clients are paid the amounts stated in their life insurance policies.
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Relevant life insurance industry experience
- Customer service experience
Earning Potential: $65,000 – $90,000
Life insurance claims adjusters tend to be one of the lower-paid jobs in life insurance. However, as an adjuster, you can work your way into management positions that pay much more. It’s worth mentioning that these positions are extremely stable that come with full benefits paid for by the insurance company you work for so that can be a major perk.
Life Insurance Attorney
A life insurance attorney is a very serious job. At the end of the day, a life insurance policy is a legal contract with complex terms and conditions. In exchange for paying a premium, the life insurance company provides individuals with financial protection in the event of death. Life insurance attorneys hold important responsibilities and represent insurance companies in the event of lawsuits and insurance claims.
Responsibilities: Life insurance attorneys can have many unique responsibilities depending on what function they are hired for. There are life insurance attorneys that work directly for insurance companies and attorneys that work on a retainer depending on the needs of the insurance company. Common responsibilities for company life insurance attorneys include reviewing legal documents, ensuring marketing complies with rules and regulations, staying up to date latest rules and regulations, advising the company on complex legal issues and so much more. Life insurance on retainer may be hired for specific lawsuits in order to represent and protect the life insurance company or the insured.
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Law school
- Passed bar exam in the relevant state
- Experience in contract law
Earning Potential: $120,000 – $250,000
This can be a very lucrative career path but it’s not for the faint of heart. It requires that you have a strong interest in the law and are ready to work long hours. The earning potential can vary significantly depending on the law firm you work for, the city you are in, and the scope of work.
Life Insurance Lead Generator
This is a life insurance position that many people do not know about, but it’s the lifeline for a life insurance salesman. Without leads, life insurance agents have no one to sell to. Without consistent life insurance leads, agents can’t succeed. As such, a life insurance lead generator is a very important position. In addition, this is an extremely niche position that actually doesn’t require traditional degree qualifications. It does however require people to have lead generation experience specifically within digital marketing and email.
Responsibilities: Life insurance lead generators are responsible for providing high-quality leads to life insurance agencies and agents. They attract leads through online sources, email, traditional mail, and other marketing efforts. These leads are then sold to life insurance agents depending on the quality and exclusivity. Life insurance leads can range in price from $.50 – $50 per lead.
- Marketing experience
- Experience with Google Ads
- SEO experience
- Graphic design experience
- Experience building lead funnels
Earning Potential: $65,000 – $125,000
The earning potential for life insurance lead generators can vary widely depending on if you are working for yourself or a marketing agency. The earning potential above is for employees of marketing firms who provide leads to life insurance companies.
As you can see, there are many unique job opportunities within the life insurance industry. It’s important to be aware of your skills and qualifications to determine which job may be the best fit. Life insurance is perhaps one of the most lucrative and stable industries. This is due to the fact that people will always die and will always need some sort of financial protection.