Career Detail


Insurance Sales Agent
“Protection Specialists”
Sale insurance to individuals, families, and businesses to provide legal and financial protection for health, wealth, and accidents.
The Job
Most people have their first contact with an insurance company through an insurance sales agent. Some sales agents may meet with clients during business hours and then spend evenings doing paperwork and preparing presentations to prospective clients. Life insurance agents specialize in selling policies that pay beneficiaries when a policyholder dies. Health insurance agents sell health insurance policies that cover the costs of medical care and loss of income due to illness or injury. Property and casualty insurance agents sell policies that protect individuals and businesses from financial loss resulting from automobile accidents, fire, theft, storms, and other events that can damage property. Although most agents work a 40-hour week, some work 60 hours a week or longer.
Work Environment
Usually have a base out of a small insurance office, however, much of their time may be spent outside their offices, traveling locally to meet with clients, close sales, or investigate claims.
College Majors
business administration, economics, marketing, communications
Minimum Qualifications
Every sales agent must have a State issued license. College is not required, but many companies and independent agencies prefer to hire college graduates-especially those who have majored in business or economics.
Personality traits helpful for this career
be flexible, enthusiastic, confident, disciplined, hard working, and willing to solve problems.
Quick Facts
  • Agents usually determine their own hours of work and often schedule evening and weekend appointments for the convenience of clients.
  • Previous experience in sales or insurance jobs can be very useful in becoming an insurance sales agent.
  • High school graduates may be hired if they have proven sales ability or have been successful in other types of work.
  • More Info: National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, Internet: http://www.pianet.org
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of wage and salary insurance underwriters were $56,790 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $43,490 and $76,700 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,010, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,940. Median annual wages of underwriters working with insurance carriers were $57,480, while underwriters' median annual wages in agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities were $54,410.
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