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How Much Does an Insurance Agent Make Selling Annuities?

by Rick Suttle, studioD

Annuities are contracts where buyers pay premiums to receive future payments from insurance companies, according to Financial Planners World -- some shorter term and others more for retirement income. Annuities insurance agents, who may also sell other types of insurance, meet with clients, discuss their financial goals and determine the best annuities for their needs. If you want to work as an annuities insurance agent, you need to pass both an insurance and securities exam to become licensed. In return, you can expect to earn more than $70,000 annually.

Income and Qualifications

An annuities insurance agent usually earns a salary during training, before converting to a 100 percent commission plan. The salary covers his living expenses until he starts selling and earning commissions. The average annual income of an annuities insurance agent was $71,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. To work in this field, you need at least a high school diploma. Many insurance companies train their annuities agents on their products, calculating payments and future payouts and state and federal insurance laws. An agent must then pass an insurance exam through his state and the Series 6 Licensing exam through the National Association of Securities Dealers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other essential requirements for the job are self-confidence, initiative and analytical and interpersonal skills.

Regional Incomes

In 2013, average incomes for annuities insurance agents varied the most within the South region, according to Simply Hired, where they earned the lowest incomes of $55,000 in Mississippi and highest of $112,000 in Washington, D.C. Those in the Midwest made $55,000 to $76,000 per year in South Dakota and Minnesota, respectively. If you worked as an annuities insurance agent in Maine or Massachusetts, you'd earn $64,000 or $86,000, respectively, which were the lowest and highest earnings in the Northeast region. In the West, you'd make the least in Montana or most in Alaska or California -- $57,000 and $80,000, respectively.

Contributing Factors

Annuities insurance agents can earn more working for different types of employers, especially those in which insurance sales agents earn more. For example, in 2012, insurance sales agents' incomes were highest in securities and commodities brokerage firms, according to the BLS -- $92,170 annually versus the industry average of $63,400 for all insurance sales agents. They also made relatively high incomes of $77,300 working for insurance companies that specialized in employee benefits. You also may earn more working for a securities and commodities brokerage firm or a company that primarily sells employee benefits if it also sells annuities. You also would likely earn more the longer you sell annuities, as you increase your client base and earn commissions from renewals.

Job Outlook

The BLS projects a 22 increase in employment for insurance sales agents, including annuities insurance agents, from 2010 to 2012 -- an above average growth rate. You may find more job opportunities in this field by selling health and long-term care in addition to annuities. The aging baby boomer population will increase demand for long-term health care. It also may behoove you to eventually become an independent annuities insurance broker, as insurance companies will rely more on independent brokers in the next decade.

About the Author

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, covering health and business for various online and print publications. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. He is author of the novels "Hell Year" and "Suicide Peak."

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