Being an insurance broker is not easy, as you have to pass state licensing exams to be eligible to sell insurance. The work is quite interesting, as you get to interact with clients from different backgrounds and requirements.
Individuals can also choose a specialty section to deal in, like life insurance or auto insurance. Agents can find gainful employment with brokering firms, and insurance companies. Some even prefer to work independently and make good money at the end of the day.
Education and Licensing
To get a good salary, it is better to have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institute. The Insurance Institute of America (IIA) is one of the premiere institutes which offers certification programs. You can take up a course which suits your liking and qualities.
All the states in America require insurance brokers and agents to have a license to sell insurance. Individuals will be required to have specific hours of classroom training to appear for state licensing examinations.
There are several institutes which offer training to aspiring agents. Some of the institutes are National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research and The American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (AICPCU).
Along with these prerequisites, an individual looking forward to become a successful insurance agent needs to have good math skills. As the job profile needs agents to interact with a lot of people, they also need to have good communication skills. A good knowledge of the market and prevailing economic conditions is also an asset in this industry.
The job entails selling insurance policies to individual clients or companies. There are different categories of insurance, including life insurance, medical insurance, property insurance, and auto insurance. Under these umbrella categories, different policies are offered to suit the requirements of individual clients. An agent has to understand the requirement of the client by asking probing questions and then offer the best policy.
Some people also tend to invest in insurance and the agent will also have to identify such clients and meet their needs. They not only sell policies, but at times help their clients manage their finances; especially senior adults. Insurance companies will devise several marketing ideas for agents that will help them sell their products, in a better way.
The salary pay scale for beginners ranges between USD 26,000 to USD 48,000. Insurance agents who have good communication skills also make good money in commissions on sales.
Like most occupations, the salary may fluctuate according to the geographical location of work. The average salary in Texas stands at around USD 52,000, with people having experience earning more than their inexperienced counterparts.
If you study the average salary in Florida, it hovers around the USD 52,000 to USD 54,000 mark. The salary in New York can be around USD 64,000 annually. A state farm insurance agent in New York will earn an average annual salary of USD 44,000.
The average salary is hard to calculate due to all the different categories of insurance and the commission earned by agents on sales. According to sources, job outlook in the coming years for these professionals is good, with decent future growth prospects.
By John Hester