The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 10% employment growth for insurance sales agents between 2018 and 2028, which is the fastest average of all occupations. During this period, an estimated 49,800 jobs will have opened up, making it a great time to enter this field and a wise career choice. It could even be the change you want if you’re considering making a shift in careers.
Insurance agents sell one or more types of insurance. Most agents work in offices, though some traveling might be involved to meet up with clients during business hours. The work also includes paperwork and preparing presentations for potential clients.
You might want to join the other agents who have a bachelor’s degree, though it’s not a requirement, as a high school diploma is enough. However, what is required is that you must be licensed in the state(s) you work in.
In this article, you will learn about the 5 basic steps to take to become a licensed agent and start your career.
- Choose the insurance you want to sell: Different insurances cover all aspects of life. The most known ones to people are: life insurance, health insurance, or property insurance. Of course, there are others, such as auto insurance, or causality insurance. You don’t have to choose just one line of insurance. Most agents do have a combination of insurances that they try to sell, such as property and casualty insurance, or life plus health insurances. As an insurance agent, you need to always be sure you fulfill the legal requirements of the insurance you’re selling.
- Learn about the requirements: For all insurances and for all states, there are basic requirements. You might want to know about them and see if you fit the bill. These standard requirements include:
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Completing pre-licensing education for your line of insurance. This is decided by each state. The number of hours you’ll have to complete and the cost may also vary by state.
- Sitting for and passing the state insurance licensing exam for your line or lines of insurance. There are many online sites to help you in preparing for the exam where you will learn about the format of the exam, the number of exams you’d be required to take, exam schedules, the costs, and all other details. A good tool you might want to employ is taking a pre-licensing exam from a reputable insurance education company.
- Passing a background check
- Continuing your education because your license will be needing a renewal.
Choosing the state to work in: As mentioned, several things will be determined by which state you choose to work in. Each state has its own regulations in its own insurance licensing process, and each state’s regulations or rules are slightly different, so this is why choosing the state to work in will be crucial. You can work in more than one state, as long as you’re abiding by the laws that govern insurance agents in that state. After you decide, it’s easy to find out what a named state requires of you by visiting the official website of the body that governs the state’s insurance. You can often find material to download to give you all the information you need. The website should also be able to tell you how many hours of education you need, how to register for the exam, and where to go for it.
- Research the agencies: After you’ve taken the exam, it’s time to search through the different agencies and job opportunities open for you. At this point, you’re simply researching and finding out more about the different agencies. Some of them might have different requirements other than the standard ones, so you might want to stay informed about that. Even though your official license is enough to qualify you, some agencies might also provide a training course beforehand. Such courses will help your selling ability and get you to do your job according to the company’s standards.
- Submit documents for license: After you pass your exams, you submit all your state’s licensing requirements for the application to the licensing department of the state. The department is expected to run background checks on you.
After that, you’ll be ready to apply to the offices of your choice in the state you’re working in. You can apply in small agencies, or take it up a couple of notches and shoot for higher posts in regional office centers. You’ll be able to confidently enter a job interview and be well-prepared to tell your employer that you have what it takes to be a standout insurance agent. Thus, the above mentioned are steps to becoming a licensed insurance agent.