Students in an insurance certificate program learn to evaluate financial risk and choose which type of insurance will best safeguard assets. Some programs allow students to specialize in a particular type of insurance, such as property or life insurance. These programs can help students learn the necessary information for acquiring licensure or certification, or to diversify their current business expertise. Depending on the program, a high school diploma or GED or an associate's degree may be required for admission.
Certificate Program in Insurance
Each program sets its own requirements for admitting students into the certificate program. Coursework can vary according to whether students are studying an insurance specialty or acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of the field. Some topics may include:
- Risk management
- Industry basics
- Insurance law
- Accounting or financial principles
- Computer applications
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for insurance sales agents is expected to increase 9% during 2014-2024. Those who sell health and long-term care packages should see the most growth. Additionally, candidates with college training, sales experience, good communication skills and who speak multiple languages may have an edge over their competition. As of May 2015, insurance sales agents earned an median annual wage of $48,200, reported the BLS.
Licensure is required in every state to be an insurance sales agent, and separate licenses are typically required for different types of insurance. Many states require applicants to complete specific coursework, pass state exams and complete continuing education classes every two years, reported the BLS. Voluntary certifications that validate the agent's experience and education are also available. The American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU) offers several certifications for insurance professionals, including the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, the Associate in Claims or the Associate in General Insurance. Bachelor's degrees are also available in insurance and risk management. In addition to taking insurance and risk management courses, students take foundational courses in business or finance.
Students interested in a career as an insurance sales agent may seek admission into a certificate program, which may be specialized for a particular type of insurance. After completing a program, graduates will need to earn state licensure and may also seek one of several certifications offered by the AICPCU.