How Many Jobs Are Available in Life Insurance?

Article Summary

The life insurance industry employs almost a million people in sales, insurance, and investment-related jobs, spanning everything from underwriters to life insurance sales agents and risk analysts. More than two million others work in fields related to the life insurance industry. The top-earning agents, brokers, and claims adjustors can make well into six figures while bringing peace of mind to clients.

When you think of life insurance, you probably think of buying a product that will ensure that your family’s financial needs are met at the time of your death. However, the life insurance industry is much more diverse. It offers everything from a classic death benefit provision to structured investment products that are used in cash-value, whole life insurance plans.

Due to the sheer size of the insurance industry, there are millions of jobs available in life insurance or related fields. Some jobs are more technical with a high fixed salary while others are sales-oriented jobs in which the majority of income is derived from commission payments. Either way, regardless of your background, you might be able to find a high-paying job in the life insurance industry that is a perfect match for you.

How many jobs are in the life insurance industry?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, as of this writing, there are 2.9 million people employed in the overall insurance industry in the United States. You can see a breakdown in the graph below.

YearLife & healthProperty/casualtyReinsurersAgencies & brokersOtherTotal

As you can see, the insurance industry in general has grown in the United States, with life and health insurance being the primary drivers. How many jobs are in the life insurance industry specifically? According to Zippia, there are 911,000 people working directly for the life insurance industry, with another 2.8 million working in tangentially related companies offering brokerage or related services.


Job titleU.S. jobs2020-2030 job growth rateJob openings
Insurance sales agent174,00010%96,000
Insurance broker157,00010%51,000
Claims adjuster132,000-4%18,000
Claim processor121,000-4%13,000
Insurance specialist117,0005%94,000
Insurance clerk109,0005%167,000
Life insurance agent104,00010%94,000
Medical coder92,00011%36,000
Risk analyst8,0006%72,000

Life insurance agent jobs are expected to grow 10 percent between 2020 and 2030. Although most jobs in the life insurance industry require a college degree, a few blue-collar jobs are also available. Let’s go through some of the top jobs for different skill sets.


Life insurance sales agent

Average salary: $90,762
Top earners: $149,000

Everyone knows an insurance salesman as a popular figure in pop culture that epitomizes the “hard sell.” However, life insurance salespeople come in many forms and work with different payment structures. For instance, some life insurance agents might work only on commission, and some might work on a hybrid salary/commission structure.

An insurance sales agent will typically require certification, and in life insurance, most agents will hold a Certified Professional, Life, and Health Insurance Program (CPLHI) certification. The CPLHI applicant will need to pass an exam to qualify. Life insurance agents who are considered “captive agents” will sell policies from a single provider and thus must be both good at sales as well as human relationships. Independent agents might represent multiple insurance providers at once.

Life insurance broker

Average salary: $93,292
Top earners: $120,000

The difference between a life insurance agent and a broker is that a life insurance agent offers insurance from one provider, whereas a life insurance broker offers products from multiple providers while working on behalf of the consumer. Technically speaking, the agent represents the insurance provider, and the broker represents the consumers. Therefore, the obligation of a broker is to the client rather than the provider.

Many life insurance brokers will also act as financial advisors and hold a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certificate. A life insurance broker’s main goal is to ensure that life insurance fits well within an overall investment and retirement plan. As cash-value, whole life insurance can also be used as an investment vehicle; people with a knowledge of how finance works can operate best as life insurance brokers.

A secure industry

According to Phil Cannella of Crash Proof Retirement, life insurance companies are generally pretty safe. “The beautiful part about the financial life insurance industry is that it’s consumer-driven,” he says. “It protects consumers from bankruptcy and any other type of catastrophe. So it’s the only guaranteed industry that stands behind consumers’ investments. The life insurance industry has been through the Great Depression, all the market crashes in the ’70s, the ’80s, and the 2000s, and still, it stands guaranteed. Not one consumer ever lost $1 of their principal due to a financial life insurance company going out of business. So, the best part about the financial life insurance industry is that it guarantees consumers’ investment accounts to the highest degree. It is the safest alternative on the planet. It’s government-proof, market crash-proof, and political-proof.”


Risk analyst

Average salary: $69,950
Top earners: $95,000

Life insurance companies make money by taking in more in premiums or investment returns than they pay out in claims. Therefore, the name of the game of life insurance companies is to control risk. Thus, a risk analyst can be a good career path for those who love the more technical side of the business.

A risk analyst in the life insurance industry could be responsible for managing risk in investment portfolios or analyzing the risk metrics when selling insurance. For instance, the reason that insurance is priced differently for different people (i.e., age, health), is because they all have different risk levels. The monthly or annual premium costs significantly more for a 65-year-old with a heart defect and serious medical conditions than for a healthy 35-year-old. Those risk calculations were done by a risk analyst.

Insurance underwriter

Average salary: $79,033
Top earners: $103,000

Underwriters in life insurance also deal with risk, but on an individual level. Once the company gives parameters on who to accept, the underwriters are expected to follow those parameters and accept or reject each applicant based on their risk profile.

If you have ever filled out a life insurance application with a broker or agent, that application is then sent to the underwriters during the overall administrative process. The underwriters will be the ones that will perform due diligence to make sure that what you state on your application is technically true. For example, you might be preapproved based on your stated income and health, but the underwriters will want to see documents proving that.


Claims processor

Average salary: $34,389
Top earners: $47,500

A claim processor is responsible for reviewing insurance claims before they are paid out. Once a claim is made, the claims processor is responsible for verifying information, processing the claim, and dealing with the client and the insurance agents/brokerages through whom they bought the insurance.

A claims processor must make sure all ducks are in a row during the administrative process of a claim. For instance, if claims are missing pieces of evidence, then a claims processor must always catch this and ask for more evidence. People who excel at organization and administrative tasks can be ideal claims processors.

Claims adjustor

Average salary: $57,978
Top earners: $117,500

A claims adjustor is a bit like a private eye for a life insurance company. Their job is to do due diligence along with the claims processor but on more of an on-the-ground level. For instance, auto insurance claims adjustors will physically inspect the vehicle to ensure the claim is viable.

A claims adjuster in the life insurance industry might look at different aspects related to the death in question.

Human resources director (brokerage, company)

Average salary: $85,000
Top earners: $180,00

An HR director is a coveted position in any industry, but in life insurance, it can be even more important than in most others. This is due to the diverse skill sets required by the industry, as explained above. An HR director for a life insurance brokerage must be able to hire the right people with great sales skills and a high ethical standard.

An HR director for a life insurance company has an even larger role. They must ensure they get the right people to both analyze the risk and streamline the administration process, as well as organize sales and act as a liaison with brokerages and agents. Furthermore, they are responsible for finding the right people that are vital to running a business. The HR department in a life insurance company must fill accounting, sales, administration, marketing, and leadership roles.

How many jobs are in similar industries?

If you’re thinking about a career change, check out our research into job growth in other industries, including consumer services, oil and gas, marine transportation, and capital goods. Or, if you want to pick up some extra work, compare the benefits of different side jobs.

Life in the life insurance industry

If you are looking for a new career path, you might wonder to yourself, other than money, why work in the life insurance industry? Will selling individual life insurance or working for one of the big life and health insurers be rewarding? Levon Galstyan, a lawyer working in personal finance and life insurance, says the industry can be very rewarding.

“For many people, the most rewarding part of working in the life insurance industry is the opportunity to help individuals and families protect their financial futures in the event of an unexpected tragedy,” he says. “Life insurance agents and underwriters can play a critical role in providing their clients peace of mind and economic security. Additionally, working in the life insurance industry can provide opportunities for career growth, professional development, and financial rewards through commissions, bonuses, and other incentives.”


Is life insurance a good career opportunity?

Yes, life insurance can be a great career opportunity for a variety of skill sets. Sales skills, for example, can be utilized in both selling cars as well as selling life insurance. According to labor statistics derived from the Insurance Information Institute, employment in the overall insurance industry has grown almost 22% over the last 10 years. One of the primary drivers of this has been life insurance, and any growing industry correlates to a good career opportunity.

How many people are employed in the insurance industry?

According to the III, the overall employment in insurance as of this writing is 2,907,000 or almost 3 million people. Of these 2,907,000 people, there are 1,619,000 employed directly by insurance and reinsurance companies, with 1,288,000 employed by brokers, agents, and other businesses tangentially related to life insurance.

Is the life insurance industry growing?

Yes, as mentioned above, the entire insurance industry has grown by 22% in the last 10 years in the United States. Between 2018-2023, the life insurance industry grew at an annualized rate of 2.5%.

What kind of job is life insurance?

That depends on what you are doing! You could be one of the many insurance agents selling basic life insurance plans, group life insurance, and supplemental life insurance. In this case, a life insurance agent’s job is a sales job. You could be using Excel to create complicated models about risk. In this case, the life insurance job would be a more technical job. Or, you could work in human resources, dealing with people every day.

Key takeaways

  • There are almost a million people working in the life insurance industry and millions more working in related fields. Jobs are plentiful and pay well.
  • Jobs in the life insurance industry reflect different skill sets. More technical candidates might be drawn to a position for insurance underwriters, whereas more sales-oriented candidates might want to try their hand as an agent or broker.
  • Many of the sales-oriented jobs are commission-based, or a hybrid of salary and commission depending on the type of insurance policies being sold. Many of the more technical or administrative-related jobs will be salaried.
  • A job in the life insurance industry can be rewarding, as you provide people with peace of mind and economic security.
View Article Sources
  1. Careers in Insurance – Insurance Information Institute
  2. Life Insurance Industry Statistics – Zippia
  3. What Are The Different Types of Life Insurance? – SuperMoney
  4. The Differences Between Whole and Term Life Insurance – SuperMoney
  5. How Many Jobs Are Available In Oil & Gas Production – SuperMoney
  6. How Many Jobs Are Available in Marine Transportation? – SuperMoney
  7. How Many Jobs Are Available In Consumer Services? – SuperMoney
  8. How Many Jobs Are Available in Capital Goods? – SuperMoney