How to Become an Insurance Sales Agent

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become an insurance sales agent depends on the company you apply at.

Those looking for an entry position will likely need at least a high school diploma and some on the job training. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a bachelor’s degree in marketing or sales can help you stand out in the hiring process.

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How Much Does an Insurance Sales Agent Make? 
$44,200 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+45,900 additional people employed

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Insurance Sales Agent page) 

The Best Places to Become an Insurance Sales Agent

If you’re of a certain age and remember the commercials, you’ll know the capital of the insurance industry is in Hartford, Connecticut. So obviously, there are plenty of opportunities in and around that New England area. Other top cities for careers in insurance are:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Minneapolis

Employment and Information Data for Insurance Sales

Why Become an Insurance Sales Agent?

The median annual wage of insurance sales agents is $48,770, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with a faster than average growth percentage by 2020 at 10%. The insurance industry is located at that interesting crossroads of business, law and finance. There are plenty of jobs in the insurance industry for differing skills and educational backgrounds. This includes: actuaries, adjusters, agents, attorneys, underwriters, marketing professional and human resource staff, and a whole lot more. There are plenty of career paths under the insurance umbrella.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Insurance Sales Agent

  • Essentials of Risk Management and Control
  • Risk Financing
  • Foundations of Risk Management and Insurance
  • Business Law for Insurance Professionals
  • Finance and Accounting for Insurance Professionals
  • Ethical Practice Standards for Today’s Producer
  • A Brief Course in Reinsurance
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Insurance
  • What You Should Know About Estate Planning
  • Excess Liability: Personal and Commercial Umbrella Coverage
  • Insurance, Statutory Coverage, & OSHA Compliance

Degree Options for Insurance Sales Careers

While most employers require a high school diploma in the insurance industry, more than one-third of insurance sales agents have a bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And agents must be licensed in the states where they work.

Certificate programs in insurance provides students a basic understanding of how the insurance industry as a whole functions and operates. It also provides lessons to help students become successful insurance sales agents, including techniques on proper financial risk management.

Associate’s Degree
An associate’s degree in insurance offers students the chance to gain a basic understanding of the overall insurance profession while learning business management practices and insurance skills designed to enable them to work in a variety of roles within the insurance industry such as claims, underwriting, customer service, marketing, training and sales.

Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree based on insurance industry principles typically concentrates on a specific segment such as risk management. A solid risk management and insurance program offers students an overall understanding of how risks are managed, processed and financed in the business world.