A career as an insurance agent can be quite challenging. It takes tenacity, thick skin, and excellent social skills. While getting started in the insurance business is challenging for newcomers, it can also be quite lucrative.
In fact, few career paths offer the same earning potential, and have as few requirements as the insurance industry. That being said, the industry does have a very high turnover rate, and many insurance agents don’t make it past the first 3 years of being in business.
Don’t worry if you don’t know much about insurance. If you’re willing to learn, you can typically get your foot in the door.
However, those who make it past the 5-year mark can typically look forward to a long and prosperous career.
If you think you have what it takes, and are interested in starting a new career without making a big monetary investment up front, then read on.
Getting Started as an Insurance Agent
First things first: you’ll need to draft a resume that shows that you are a self starter. Those who succeed in the insurance industry tend to be success-driven, entrepreneurial types.
Once you have a quality resume, start looking for agencies that you think you might like to work for. You should scan the classified ads in the newspaper, browse employment and insurance company websites, or attend industry seminars to investigate career opportunities.
Look for companies that have good reputations among customers and agents, and solid numbers with the insurance rating agencies. Agencies that are highly rated tend to offer excellent values to consumers, to conduct their business ethically, and to treat their agents well.
It’s very important to find a reputable agency to work for when you're just starting out. Work for the wrong company, and it will probably ruin your impression of the industry. Not only that, but it could tarnish your own professional reputation, especially if you work for an unsavory agency.
Once you’ve found a handful of agencies that interest you, submit your resume to all of them. Even if you have your eye on a few insurance companies in particular, it’s still a good idea to cast a wide net. That way, you can compare what benefits each of the companies offer.
Getting the Ball Rolling
The companies that are interested in hiring you will provide further direction on getting your license, as you will need to get licensed before starting. The licensure requirements vary by state, but you will definitely need one, no matter where you’re doing business.
There are multiple ways to acquire your license, and some courses can even be completed online. The costs vary, but the courses typically average less than $500, and can be completed in less than a month.
Don’t worry if you don’t know much about insurance. Because turnover is high in this industry, many insurance companies will provide new hires with on-the-job training. As long as you’re willing to learn, you can typically get your foot in the door.
A Growing Industry
Not only does the insurance business have the potential to be quite profitable, but it is also a growing industry, which means that career prospects for newcomers who have what it takes are quite good. Insurance demands are on the upswing, and with a large number of Americans approaching retirement age, that upward trend should continue.