Like his father, Shangguan An occupied high positions in the military apparatus of the Han dynasty. In 83 BCE he was appointed General of chariots and cavalry (cheji jiangjun 車騎將軍). A year later his daughter (Empress Shangguan 上官皇后) was married to the young Emperor Zhao 漢昭帝 (r. 87-74 BCE), and he was given the title of Marquis of Sangle 桑樂侯.
Shangguan An was known as a cruel superior and being in the lap of luxury. This might have been a reason for the quarrel with his father in law, the regent Huo Guang 霍光. Huo Guang won the fight for power and had executed Shangguan An and his father Shangguan Jie in 80 BCE because of high treason.