May 15, 2020
Insurance sales is a growing industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 Year over year, the number of life insurance agents entering the workforce grows, and there are good reasons why.
Life insurance sales is a stable industry: There is a consistent need for the protection that life insurance can provide families, and insurance companies are in need of qualified, driven life insurance agents to represent their products. There are opportunities for growth within the industry as well. More junior agents can often progress in earning potential and responsibility if they desire to do so, as they gain more experience in the industry.
But the important thing to remember about being a life insurance agent is this: When you’re a life insurance agent, you’re not just selling a product. You’re potentially helping families as they face the most challenging times in their lives – the passing of their loved one.
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Life insurance may potentially help keep a student in college by providing for their financial needs after the passing of a parent. It may also help provide for partners left behind after the primary breadwinner passes away. Life insurance may help set up a financial safety net for your loved ones, so they aren’t left with the burden of your final expenses while also dealing with the emotional fall out of your death.
There are few industries that can provide such a rewarding outcome. So how do you become a life insurance agent and what do you need to know? We will explore more in this article.
What do you need to become a life insurance agent?
You don’t need to have pursued higher education to become a life insurance agent. In most states, you just need to have a high school diploma and be 18 years of age or older, with most states requiring a licensing course and exam. There are a number of jobs in this field. 1 in 5 Americans consider themselves uninsured or underinsured when it comes to life policies – so there are millions of people to help.2 It is possible to obtain an insurance license without applying with a company, but you can also obtain your license by applying directly with the life insurance agency or company of your choice and following their application process. Every company has different rules and qualifications they seek when choosing and hiring candidates so it’s important to weigh your options.
How do I get licensed?
Becoming a licensed life insurance agent is a matter of passing a background check, and taking the licensing course and qualifying exam, and passing. After, you will be able to apply for your license. Not every state requires license in order to sell policies, but many do. Some companies will help you obtain your licensing as part of bringing you on to the team. Be sure to check with your hiring company to learn if they have requirements for how long you must stay with the company in order for them to absorb the costs of your licensure materials and exam.
The time commitment for taking the pre-licensure course varies from state-to-state, but an average length of time is around 20 hours3 with a multi-hour examination you’ll have to sit for. After you complete the training and exam (and pass the exam), you’ll be licensed to sell insurance in the state you’ve taken the exam in. Some states require continuing education to keep your license current. This requirement will depend on what state you are in, and the amount of continuing education required varies. Check with your individual state’s Department of Insurance for these requirements.
How long does it take to become an insurance agent?
Becoming a licensed life insurance agent can take as little as a few days to several weeks to obtain licensure to sell insurance. In many states, the coursework necessary to sit for the state exam is done independently, so how quickly or slowly it takes you to master the material is up to you.
Becoming a life insurance agent can be a rewarding career to enter, as there are many individuals who are in need of the security life insurance may help provide. The timeframe for getting started in this career will depend on where you live and how driven you are to master and complete any state- or company-mandated requirements. There are opportunities out there to help provide protection to families, so find the opportunity that’s right for you – and go for it.