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Insurance Agent Career At-a-Glance

Insurance Agent Career At-A-Glance

Posted by: Kaplan Financial Education
Updated: July 27, 2017
 

Are you considering a career in the insurance industry? If you are looking for more information about the profession, you are in the right place. Find out more about what the day-to-day of an insurance industry professional is like, as well as the expected job growth over the next decade below.


What Do Insurance Agents Do?

Insurance agents sell one or more types of insurance for insurance companies. They help clients understand differences in insurance policies and help them choose what plans are best suited for them.
Typical job duties for insurance agents include:

  • Call potential clients to drive new business
  • Meet with potential clients to discuss their existing coverage and insurance needs
  • Explain various insurance policy options
  • Analyze clients’ current insurance plans and suggest changes/additions
  • Process policy renewals
  • Help clients settle insurance claims

Thinking about a career in insurance? Download this free Launching Your Insurance Career eBook.

Important Skill Sets for Insurance Agents

  • Customer Service: At the core of being an insurance agent is helping prospective and current clients understand and choose insurance plans.Sales and Marketing: An insurance agent will also have to routinely call prospective clients and set up meetings to get details about their finances and goals.
  • Analytical Abilities: It is important for insurance agents to be able to analyze risk and benefits of all policy options for clients.
  • Self-Motivated: Being an insurance agent means being able to take initiative, recognize opportunities, and continually follow up with prospective and current clients.
  • Commitment to Life-Long Learning: Insurance policies and state regulations are constantly changing. It is important for insurance agents to stay up-to-date on industry and regulation changes.

 

Job Outlook for Insurance Agents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of insurance sales agent is expected to increase by 10% from 2012 to 2022. This is higher than other sales and related occupations, which are expected to grow by 7%.

Employment growth should be even higher for agents selling health and long-term care insurance due to the aging population. There is also more opportunity for growth as more people have access to health insurance from federal health insurance reform legislation.

 

How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?

The median annual wage for insurance sales agents was $48,150 in May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10% were paid less than $26,120 and the top 10% earned over $116,940.

Insurance agents are often paid in one of three ways: salary only, salary and commission, or salary plus bonus. In some situations, agents who do financial planning receive a fee for their services instead of commission.

Commissions are a common form of payment, particularly with more experienced insurance agents. The amount of commission varies on the type and amount of insurance sold, and whether it is a renewal or new policy. Bonuses are sometimes given to agents when individual or agency sales goals are met.

 

How Do You Become an Insurance Agent?

The process for becoming an insurance agent depends on what lines of authority you want to sell and what states you want to sell in. For more information on becoming an insurance agent, visit our article on this topic.

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Interested in starting your career in the insurance industry? Enroll in one of Kaplan Financial Education's Insurance Licensing programs, which are available in all 50 states! Learn more on our website or call our customer service team at 800.824.8742 today.