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Insurance Sales Agent

Career Overview

Insurance sales agents sell one or more types of insurance; a typical product selection would include life insurance, property and casualty insurance, health insurance, and long-term care insurance. Insurance sales agents who focus on businesses sell disability, liability and workman's compensation insurance as well.

An increasing number of insurance sales agents are expanding their product lines to include comprehensive financial planning services for their clients. These services may include estate planning, retirement planning, and investment services.  Besides offering insurance, these agents may become licensed to sell annuities, mutual funds and securities, especially to their aging clients.

Education

Insurance companies usually prefer to hire agents with a bachelors degree, preferably in business, economics or a related field. College courses in insurance can help a potential agent understand the economic realities that underlie the purpose and value of an insurance policy. All insurance sales personnel must be licensed by the state in which they work.

Current Employment

There were about 436,000 insurance agents in 2006, according to the Department of Labor. Almost half of these sales agents work for insurance agencies and brokerages. About one quarter work directly for an insurance company.

Job Outlook

Jobs for insurance sales agents are expected to grow at a rate similar to the overall growth rate for all job categories; about ten percent. The growth of internet sales has changed the nature of the business somewhat; however the more complex policies such as life, long term care and property should ensure the staying power of insurance agencies.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $12.40  $25,800
Median Range  $21.87  $45,500
Highest 10%  $55.24  $114,910

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