- Life insurance: A great career opportunity
- February 12, 2015
The U.S. Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics just published data indicating that every sector of the insurance industry was up including life insurance employment, which is usually down.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I), employment by life/annuity insurers rose in December 2014 versus the following year. Life/annuity insurers employed stayed in a range of 340,000 but broke out of that corridor in June – not falling for eight consecutive months. The agent/broker segment gained 32,600 jobs in December 2014.
Insurance agents sell auto, health, home and life insurance, including commercial agents that sell property and damage liability insurance. Insurance is highly regulated and agents must be licensed by the state in which they are selling insurance. According to US News and World Reports, The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects insurance-agent employment growth of 10.4 percent between 2012 and 2022. That’s an additional 45,900 jobs that should open up before the end of that period.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary for insurance agents averaged approximately $48,000 in 2013. Many consumers used to rank the job of an insurance agent no better or worse than a car salesman, but agents and brokers today are professionals, according to Tony Steuer from Questions and Answers on Life Insurance. They have high standards to which they hold themselves accountable; some with professional designations beside their name.
How to get started
Talk to a career counselor who can organize your skills for the best possible fit.
Talk to a trusted family member or friend in the insurance industry for suggestions.
Research insurance companies for specifics concerning education requirements. Many employers financially support their employees when it comes to the necessary licensing and certification requirements.
Most agencies offer job training.
Some employers offer specialized insurance programs and would prefer students to have a bachelors degree in business, economics or finance.
Remember brokers are different from agents who evaluate different insurance and help clients locate the best policy match.
Professional development opportunities can be found with a number of associations which include the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research as well as the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. These organizations offer online training courses and seminars.
Many ask why insurance is so heavily regulated, thinking that it is because of poor ethics on the part of the insurance industry. The government has been regulating the insurance industry for more than 100 years to protect consumers rights. and to ensure the insurer remains solvent. States also highly govern sales and marketing as Tony Steuer reminds us.
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