It’s common knowledge in the insurance world that there is aserious demographic issue among producers. Theaverage age of an agent or broker, according to industrystatistics, is pushing 60 years old. A recent LIMRA surveypegged the average life & health producer at 56 years old,while a white paper from McKinsey & Co. puts the average ofinsurance agents at 59 years old.

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What’s more, this demographic problem is only growing worse. Atthe present rate by which the distribution system is aging, andgiven how many producers are likely to retire or otherwise leavethe industry over the next 10 years, the industry needs to bring in60,000 new agents and brokers every single year just to maintainthe current size of the distribution system. Given that industryrecruiting is nowhere near those numbers, and given theextraordinarily high washout rate of new producers (as low as 10%make it through their first five years, regardless of age), it doesnot take an advanced degree in statistics to see that the insurancebusiness is facing a significant change in manpower in thenot-too-distant future unless things change drastically, andimmediately.

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Related: Halting the brain drain: Can insurance protect itsintellectual legacy?

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But how bad is the situation, really, compared to other lines ofwork? It is hard to say, especially since every industry seems tohave its own methods for determining the average age of itsconstituents. One source, however, is the Bureau of LaborStatistics, which uses data from the CurrentPopulation Survey to determine, among other things, the medianage of people within any given occupation. This data isnot entirely accurate—it pegs the median age of insurance agents atonly 45.6 years—a cool 12 years below what the industry knows to betrue. (And, coincidentally, the exact same median agegiven for first-line supervisors of firefighting and otherprevention workers.) Other counts are accurate, and still othersactually overestimate the median age for a given occupation. Butthis still provides a good ballpark overview of which occupationsappear to have more acute aging problems than insurance agents andbrokers. And there are a lot of them.

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To prove the point, we offer a baker’s dozen of some of the moreinteresting ones, starting with…

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Locomotive engineers and operators average age: 46.0
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Locomotive Engineers and Operators

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Average age: 46.0

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Physicians and surgeons average age: 46.8
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Physicians and Surgeons

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Average age: 46.8

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First-line supervisors of police & detectives average age: 47.0
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First-line Supervisors of Police &Detectives

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Average age: 47.0

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Aircraft pilots ad flight engineers average age: 47.3
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Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

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Average age: 47.3

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Highway maintenance workers average age: 48.1
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Highway Maintenance Workers

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Average age: 48.1

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Jewelers & precious stone and metal workers average age: 48.6
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Jewelers & Precious Stone and MetalWorkers

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Average age: 48.6

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Taxi Drivers and chauffeurs average age: 49.2
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Taxi Drivers & Chauffeurs

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Average age: 49.2

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Real estate brokers and sales agents average age: 50.7
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Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents

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Average age: 50.7

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Clergy average age: 51.8
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Clergy

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Average age: 51.8

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Tailors, dressmakers and sewers average age: 52.5
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Tailors, Dressmakers & Sewers

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Average age: 52.5

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Travel agents average age: 53.2
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Travel Agents

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Average age: 53.2

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Judges, magistrates and other judicial workers average age: 53.7
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Judges, Magistrates and other JudicialWorkers

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Average age: 53.7

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Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers average age: 56.1
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Farmers, Ranchers and other AgriculturalManagers

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Average age: 56.1

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Related: Bridging the talent gap

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