commission for an insurance agent

Comparing Commission: Real Estate Agents vs. Insurance Agents

When deciding on a profession in sales, you have a lot of choices, and many people end up going either the real estate or insurance route. Whether you’re an experienced sales professional or you’re just starting out, there are many factors to consider when choosing an industry. You’ll think about what interests you, areas you’re passionate about, how you can bring the most value to your community and, last but not least, the income potential.

For those considering joining the real estate industry, becoming an insurance agent will likely cross a lot of “must-haves” off your list. You’ll be in a position that makes a difference in your community with no limit to your earning potential! If you’re at a professional crossroads deciding which industry to join, learn more about how being an insurance agent compares to being a real estate agent.

Income for Real Estate Agents vs. Insurance Agents

From real estate agents to insurance agents, salespeople enjoy a wide range of incomes depending on their industry. As you consider whether becoming a Farm Bureau insurance agent is right for you, it’s important to think about how different sales professions stack up.

Being an Insurance Agent

average income of a new insurance agent

Income Potential for Insurance Agents

A Farm Bureau agent in their first year makes on average of 56 percent more than realtors and other sales reps. On average, the income for a first-year Farm Bureau agent is $81,674.

With dedication, drive and hard work, our average agents make up to $114,000 by year three! That’s nearly a 40 percent increase in your income in three short years.

Education Requirements

Each state has different requirements to become an insurance agent, but most require agents to complete a pre-licensing course and pass a licensing exam. License exams and fees typically cost $100 to $200. At Farm Bureau, new agents can go through our Agent Development Program to test out what it’s like to be an insurance agent before leaving their current job. Agents are able to meet with clients, learn the ins and outs of being an insurance agent and actually start earning commission before committing.

Job Outlook and the State of the Insurance Industry

 growth in the insurance industry

If you’re looking for your next sales opportunity, joining the insurance industry could be a smart move. Insurance will always be needed, and its annual renewal for clients puts Farm Bureau insurance agents in a stable position professionally, especially since we’re expanding our financial services offerings.

From 2016 to 2026, the insurance industry is also expected to grow 10 percent, higher than the national average of 6 percent. This is partly due to half of insurance professionals being over age 45. According to the Insurance Journal, 25% of current agents are expected to retire by 2018, making now an ideal time to dive into the industry.

Being a Real Estate Agent

income for experienced insurance agent

Income Potential for Real Estate Agents

In 2017, the average income for a first-year realtor was $58,000, and in 2016, the highest ten percent of real estate agents earned about $112,000. A real estate agent’s income often depends on the properties that are available and the economic conditions, which can make earnings irregular.

Education Requirements

If you’re considering a sales position in the real estate industry, you’ll need to take post-secondary courses and pass state and national license exams. Depending on your state, real estate courses can range anywhere from $200 to $700, plus an additional $200 to $300 for licensing exams and application fees.

Job Outlook and State of the Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is expected to grow six percent from 2016 to 2026, which is near the average for all occupations.

How Do Insurance Agent Incomes Compare to the National Average?

Did you know the average income for workers in the U.S. is $44,564? Even during their first year, an insurance agent can make thousands more. At Farm Bureau, we value our agents and the contributions they make to their communities. That’s why we reward their hard work with bonuses and incentive travel to the top 15 percent of our agents each year. As one of our top agents, you could be eligible for trips to destinations like Hawaii, London and more!

Transitioning From Another Sales Job and Industry

If you’re coming from another sales position like a realtor, you likely have many relevant skill sets that can help you hit the ground running as an insurance agent, such as an entrepreneurial spirit, communication skills, business understanding and commitment.

Signs It’s Time to Move on From Your Current Sales Job

So how do you know it’s time to look for a new sales position? Here are a few signs you’re ready to begin your job search.

There’s no room to continue to grow and advance. Do you feel like you’ve hit your ceiling? If you’re hoping to move to a management position, and that doesn’t exist at your company, it may be time to consider a new position. At Farm Bureau, we offer a variety of opportunities for professionals with sales experience, such as:

  • Sales Associate
  • Insurance Agent
  • Agency Manager

You’ve reached your income potential. In some sales industries, competition from brick and mortar stores and from products being sold online have made it difficult to increase your sales and profit, despite all of your efforts. If you think the state of your industry is making it hard to earn the income you deserve, it might be time to look at a new industry entirely. Unlike other sales industries, the insurance industry is stable, strong and continuing to grow. Afterall, insurance will always be needed.

It doesn’t align with something you’re passionate about. Whether you’re selling homes, farm equipment or insurance that protects the livelihoods of your clients, it will be hard to be successful if you’re not in an industry that interests you. At Farm Bureau, the most successful insurance agents are passionate about helping members of their communities and providing products that protect what matters most to them. If that sounds like you, becoming an insurance agent could be your next step!

Make Your Next Sales Step as a Farm Bureau Agent

Salespeople can earn a healthy income. But a Farm Bureau agent earns a good living and is recognized as a community leader who makes a real difference in people’s lives.

At Farm Bureau Financial Services, we value our agents. Our companies were founded 75 years ago to meet the needs of farmers. Today we serve all walks of life from rural to urban, and everything in between. And you could too if you choose to be a Farm Bureau agent. If you’re ready to take the next step in your sales profession, click Get Started to learn more about becoming an insurance agent.


become an insurance agent