3 Steps to Becoming an Insurance Agent
June 28, 2018 |
There are more than 1.1 million insurance agents, brokers, and employees in the United States. All of them started their somewhere — a college classroom or lecture hall, perhaps. Some received their training on the job; others studied online. Regardless, all of them would have completed the licensure requirements for the job. Here’s how to follow in their footsteps and become a certified insurance agent yourself.
1. Complete Your Education
You don’t need a college degree to become an insurance agent; some agents just have a high school diploma. However, completing a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field can prepare you for your career in insurance. Currently, one-third of insurance agents have a bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.
“Employers prefer to hire insurance agents who have college degrees, particularly in business or economics,” says The Balance Careers. “They might consider hiring a high school graduate who has proven sales ability.”
Whether you have a college education or not, all states expect you to complete a pre-licensing training course. You can complete one of these programs in as little as a few days.
You will learn about the following:
- Insurance legislation: Federal and state laws that govern the insurance sector and how they impact financial products.
- Insurance regulations: Guidelines from governmental and non-governmental organizations about selling financial products to customers and clients.
- Insurance best practices: How to sell a wide range of insurance products, maximize profits and assess risk.
- Soft skills: How to become a better negotiator, communicator and team player.
2. Find Out About Licensing Requirements in Your State
Each state has different rules about becoming an insurance agent. Check the license requirements in your state before you choose your training course. There’s no nationally-recognized qualification for agents, and the type of course you choose will depend on your field of specialty — health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, etc. Do your research.
“If you do not get your insurance license, you will not be able to become an insurance agent,” says USA Today. “However, some states allow as many as 10 chances to pass the exam. So don’t worry, you have options.”
If you want to sell securities, you’ll also need to complete the General Securities Representative Exam, also known as the Series 7 exam. “[This] assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform his or her job as a general securities representative,” says the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
3. Choose the Right Course Provider
Once you’ve found about the licensing requirements in your state, it’s time to enroll in your pre-license course. There are thousands of course providers online, and more and more agents receive complete their training on the internet. Studying in a classroom environment, however, provides you with multiple benefits.
If you have a family or work long hours, studying online will help you achieve your goals without committing to full-time education. You can study in your own time at a pace that suits you and access digital content wherever you live — perfect if you are far away from a college.