A lousy economy, a tough job market, and the drubbing a whole lot of people took in the stock market have combined to make selling life insurance an unlikely option for thousands of people looking for a job. The Wall Street Journal says insurance firms are "taking advantage of the weak job market to scoop up former real-estate agents, mortgage brokers, bankers and lawyers whose prospects have declined." New York Life and Northwestern Mutual, to name just two, each added several thousand agents last year.
It's not easy work. Agents talk of working from "sunup to sundown" to identify and meet prospective clients. And the rewards aren't sure. The Journal says 70 percent of agents earn less than $35,000 in their second year. Most - 80 percent - leave the field within four years. Those who make it into their fifth year can make a respectable living, somewhere between $113,000 to $134,000.
A Hot Job for Hard Times: The Life-Insurance Agent [WSJ]
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