Should I Become an Insurance Consultant?
Insurance consultants can work in almost any insurance field including health, auto, life or property. Insurance consultants assist clients in planning, organizing, preparing and researching their insurance policies. They may answer questions, gather information, provide quotes and sell policies to clients. Travel might be involved, and working evenings or weekends to meet clients' scheduling needs may be required.
|Education Level||No college degree required; training in the field required|
|Experience||Varies from 0 to 2 years|
|Licensure||State licensure required|
|Key Skills||Strong customer service, communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills, solution-oriented, proficient in MS Office|
|Salary (2014)||$47,860 per year (Median wage for insurance sales agents)|
Source: Job postings from August 2015, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Obtain Field Experience
Some employers require insurance consultants to have previous experience in an insurance or sales field. Entry-level employment as an insurance claims representative may provide the experience needed for a future position as a consultant until license and experience requirements are met. Claims representative positions usually entail handling inbound calls regarding insurance claims, gathering facts, assisting customers and providing information. These skills will also prove useful in a consultant position.
- Develop business, customer service and computer skills. Online certification classes, such as the Microsoft Office certification, can provide candidates with skills employers seek. Participating in business classes and customer service or public speaking training is also beneficial for this profession.
Step 2: Complete the Necessary Education
While a degree isn't necessary for most insurance consultant jobs, some states have minimum education requirements for licensing. Candidates may need to complete a specific amount of state-approved course hours in different lines of insurance. In some states, the education requirements may be waived if the candidate is licensed or certified in other insurance or financial fields.
- Consider Earning Insurance Certification. While not required, becoming certified in a particular kind of insurance can show potential employers that an individual has achieved a particular level of expertise. Organizations, such as the American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, offer various designations relevant to the insurance field. Taking courses and an exam may be required.
Step 3: Apply for State Licensure
Insurance consultants must be licensed before providing services to the public. Licensing requirements may include passing a written exam, paying a fee and meeting education or insurance experience requirements.
- Take advantage of free licensing materials. Some states and websites offer downloadable study materials that can be helpful in preparing for licensing exam.
Step 4: Earn Continuing Education Credits
Most states require insurance consultants to renew their license every two years by meeting continuing education requirements. Areas of study vary depending on the type of insurance and may include tax or law updates, ethics and technical policy details. The continuing education credit hours vary by state and must be completed through state-approved courses.