How to Become An Insurance Agent: 5 Steps to Success

Written by Matthew King, time it takes to read this article is  minute(s).

Looking to jump into a new career? Think you have the ability to sell things? If so, you should consider becoming an insurance agent.

Insurance agents can work in a number of capacities and have the potential to bring in substantial amounts of money. Curious as to how to become an insurance agent? Then read on. Here are 5 steps to success.

1. Graduate from High School or Obtain a GED

First and foremost, if you want to become an insurance agent, you need to either graduate from high school or obtain a GED. This is the baseline for becoming an insurance agent. If you don’t do this, you’ll struggle mightily to get hired.

2. Graduate from College

Though it’s not entirely necessary, a college degree can greatly improve your chances of getting hired as an insurance agent. As such, if this is a career you want to pursue, you’re advised to go to college.

Once there, you should pursue a degree in business or economics. You might also want to take some psychology classes, as understanding human psychology is key to selling insurance effectively.

Other classes to look out for include insurance classes and risk management classes. Many universities offer programs that are specifically designed to cater to budding insurance agents. So, be on the lookout for these.

3. Meet Licensing Requirements

Once you’ve graduated from college, you need to set forth to meet the necessary licensing requirements. These will vary based on the type of insurance agent you’re looking to become. Note, however, that they generally involve taking a course or two.

To find specific requirements on the type of insurance agent you’re looking to be, type “requirements to become a [type of insurance agent].” For instance, you could type “requirements to become a Medicare insurance agent.”

You might also want to include the state in which you’re in, as licensing requirements can vary based on geographical area as well. You might also find some luck in calling state offices, like the Bureau of Labor or the state Insurance Department.

4. Get Your License

Regardless of the type of insurance agent that you’re looking to become, you will need to get your insurance agent license. To do this, you will need to pass a test. This will be offered by the state and will require a test fee.

The point of each exam is to test your knowledge of the given topic so as to ensure that you can provide honest and forthright services. Note, if you fail your exam, you are allowed to take it again. However, you’ll have to pay an additional fee and will have to wait until the next testing period.

As such, you should study up prior to your attempts. There are all sorts of resources available online. For instance, if you’re trying to sell Medicare, you could use our resources.

5. Find Employment

Once you’ve passed your test and have obtained your license, you can go out and find a job. There are all sorts of insurance agent jobs available. However, most fit into one of two categories: independent insurance agents and captive insurance agents. 

Independent insurance agents are essentially just freelancers. They work with several different insurance companies and act as middle-person between the companies and their potential customers. Though they may receive small salaries, they make the bulk of their money from commissions. 

Captive insurance agents, on the other hand, work with only one company and are generally hired full-time. This type of job usually comes with a full salary. Note, though, that commissions may be provided as well.

When first getting started, you might want to become a captive agent. This way, you can get some direction from other experienced individuals while on the job. Make note, however, that plenty of insurance agents start straight away as independent agents and are able to progress in their careers steadily. 

How Much Money Do Insurance Agents Make?

Insurance agents’ incomes can vary wildly based on a number of factors. A large portion of each agent’s income is dependent on commissions. As such, the better you are at selling, the more money you’ll make. 

On average, insurance agents make approximately $50,000 a year. Note, though, that the lowest-earning agents can make as little as $25,000 while the highest-earning agents can make as much as $125,000 or more.

If your goal is to make as much money as possible, you might want to become an independent agent. Independent agents work for many different companies at once and therefore stand to profit substantially from all of them. Of course, in order to profit, you have to perform well.

Other factors that can affect insurance agents’ wages include the type of insurance they’re selling and the areas in which they live.

Job Outlook for Insurance Agents

Now, you might be wondering: are insurance sales agents in demand? Is there a growing market for them? The answer is yes!

In fact, the market for insurance agents is poised to grow about 5% from 2019 to 2029 (that’s around 27,000 extra jobs). And because more and more agencies are turning to independent insurance agents, they’re willing to hire more agents overall.

So, in short, if you’re interested in this line of work, it’s worth pursuing. You will almost certainly be able to find a job in the future, whether it’s as a captive agent or an independent one.

And That’s How to Become an Insurance Agent

And there it is; that’s how to become an insurance agent. Follow the steps above, and you’ll be selling insurance in no time.

Interested in selling insurance, specifically? If so, our site, InsuranceSales101, has you covered. We have all sorts of resources on selling Medicare and will help to set you up for success.

Sign up today!

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