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Life Insurance Sales Agent: Job Description & Career Info

Life insurance sales agents sell life insurance policies to individuals and then collect monthly or yearly payments from the policyholder. If the policyholder dies, agents ensure that beneficiaries receive the designated financial settlement from the policy. Learn more about this occupation by reading further.

Career Definition for a Life Insurance Sales Agent

Life insurance sales agents sell life insurance policies that pay out in case of death. According to Life Happens, www.lifehappens.org, agents generally sell two different types of life insurance called permanent insurance and temporary insurance. Permanent insurance provides life long coverage for individuals, while temporary insurance only covers beneficiaries for a predetermined amount of time.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in business or economics
Necessary Skills Confidence, diligence, enthusiasm, interpersonal skills, time management skills, communication skills, sensitivity, computer skills
Median Salary (2015)* $48,200 for all types of insurance sales agents
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 9% for all types of insurance sales agents

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Most employers highly recommend that potential life insurance sales agents earn a bachelor's degree in business or economics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, reports that students in college take courses in finance, accounting, marketing, economics and business administration. It can also be beneficial for anyone looking to work in life insurance sales to focus on psychology, public speaking and sociology classes. Agents continue to receive education by shadowing experienced life insurance sales agents and learn how to write polices, interact with customers and make sales.

Skills Required

Life insurance sales agents have to be confident, hardworking and enthusiastic. Agents must have tremendous interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with customers on the phone and in-person. Life insurance sales agents need to manage their time well and be sensitive to any client needs. Having computer skills allows sales agents to stay organized and keep client information readily available.

Economic and Career Outlook

According to the BLS, as the overall population ages, job opportunities for all insurance sales agents, including life insurance sales agents, are expected to grow at an average rate of 9% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS reports that the median salary for an insurance sales agent is $48,200 per year as of May 2015.

Alternate Career Options

Some skills necessary to become a life insurance sales agent will also apply to careers in other areas.

Personal Financial Advisor

Normally needing at least a bachelor's degree, in addition to licensing or registrations, depending on the products bought or sold, these professionals give people financial advice concerning taxes, investments and insurances. Much faster than average employment growth of 30% was forecast by the BLS for this career, from 2014-2024. Also according to the BLS, personal financial advisors earned an annual median salary of $89,160 in 2015.

Advertising Sales Agent

Although entry-level positions may be found with just a high school diploma, applicants with a bachelor's degree and sales experience may have the best prospects for these positions where agents contact clients, make presentations and maintain accounts of businesses and individuals. A 3% decline is expected in the number of available positions, according to the BLS for the 2014-2024 decade. In 2015, an annual median wage of $48,490 was revealed for these agents, per the BLS.

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