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The Pros and Cons of Working in Insurance Sales

A job in insurance sales could be highly lucrative and enjoyable, or an utter catastrophe, depending on your personality, drive, and values. You could be setting your hours, working on your own terms, selling insurance and making a good living doing it. For many, this is a reliable source of income and a fine career choice with opportunities for advancement. If this sounds good to you, then it just may be the way to go–however, it is important to understand the pros and cons of this line of work before jumping in.

Pro: Job Security
People need insurance, and they are going to need insurance for a long time. This is, quite simply, the nature of our society. People need health insurance to cover their medical expenses, auto insurance to cover their car repairs, life insurance and so on. As long as this trend persists, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, insurance sales people will have their place in the world. You can expect to make a living in insurance sales for years to come.

Con: Self-Starters Only
When you work in insurance sales, you typically don’t go into an office five days a week, work at your desk, and collect a salary. Most insurance sales people work independently, making their own hours and working from their own resources. While this kind of freedom is desirable for many, it requires that you wake up every day with a plan of action to achieve your goals. You will have to do your own networking and investing to get the tools you need for your job, and you’ll have neither the boss to outline your days with instructions, nor the salary to fall back on as a safety net.

Pro: High Commissions
One of the benefits of this kind of work is that when you work on your own you have the potential to make more money than you would as a salaried worker. As a sales person, you have clear incentives to sell more–your commissions. Insurance sales people make their living on commission in many cases, meaning they are paid based on how much they sell. Truly gifted sales people have the opportunity to make a good living in this kind of field. A salaried position may actually ask more of you than commission based work, without the possibility of increased pay.

Con: Unpredictable Pay
The problem with working on commission is, of course, that the sales person’s pay structure is not necessarily steady and predictable. The security of a stable wage is desirable for many, and this security might not be found in insurance sales. Many customers are taking their business online, to websites like, and buying insurance directly rather than through sales peoples. Imagine that your income for one quarter was vastly different from the next, while still requiring the same amount of work. Unless you are very good at budgeting both your time and money, this arrangement may quickly become difficult for you to handle.

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