If you'd like to learn how to become a Insurance Agent, this article will guide you through the requirements as well as career pathways and salary information.
Insurance Agent Job Description
Insurance Agents offer insurance policies to offset risk management costs for their customers, otherwise known as policy holders.
A customer buys into a policy and becomes the policy holder, having insurance or a policy that will provide compensation or coverage in the event of an accident or the unfortunate event of illness, etc.
Types of Insurance Agents
First of all, there are insurance agents that represent a larger insurance company and are called captive or exclusive insurance agents (and work for companies like Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, and others).
Or there are insurance agents that can give you quotes from multiple insurance companies and are considered independent agents, or Insurance Brokers.
Now as for types of insurance that agents and brokers sell:
- car insurance
- life insurance
- medical insurance
- catastrophic insurance
- renter's insurance
- home owners insurance
- workmen compensation
Insurance Agent Requirements
Most entry level insurance positions do not require a college level degree. All positions require a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
As an insurance agent, most agencies offer on the job training for your field, and will have you go through a certification program. Otherwise, prior experience is not required.
Having computer skills, excellent communication skills both written and verbal, and the ability to relate well to others is essential. Your primary customer is relating to indivudual people, understanding their insurance needs, and recommending a plan that best suit their needs.
People often feel insurance agents are out to make as much money as possible by selling them plans and services they do not truly need. Or perhaps they want to avoid the high pressure sales, so they avoid seeking out much needed life insurance or the like. If you can relate
well to others, be sincere and genuine with them and have empathy, you may find being your authentic self is the best way to disarm a persons emotional resistance guard and aversion to insurance agents.
Being well dressed and groomed does help reinforce people's confidence in your competency. Being well dressed doesn't mean you have to wear a suit, but image does convey a message to people about you, so keep that in mind when you meet clients.
Since your primary clients are individual people, your work hours will need to be flexible, as you will be working around their work schedules, to include evenings and weekends (potentially).
Being an insurance agent is like owning your own business and being your own boss. You have to be diciplined and willing to work hard for leads and connecting with people. Many insurance agencies that you can be employed with will provide you with tools needed to expand your customer base. How you use them is up to your creativity, and will determine your success.
Insurance Agent Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2010 insurance agents made an average of $46,770 per year and $22.48 per hour. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports this profession growing at 22%, which is faster than the national average of 14%. Pretty impressive for an industry that does not require a college degree.
On the high end of the salary scale, some agents make an upwards of $115,300 a year. And on the other end of the spectrum, 10% or agents only made $25,910 or so a year, perhaps because selling insurance in a part time job or supplemental income for them.
Insurance Agent Jobs
There are many great companies to choose from when it comes to getting a job as an insurance agent. Here are a few:
You may also find insurance agent job postings on popular job websites like Monster.com or SimplyHired. Here's a list of Insurance Agent Jobs from Monster.