A career in the field of auto insurance is one that can be both rewarding and exciting for the right people. It’s certainly not the best career choice for everyone but, for those who enjoy it, nothing could be better. If you’re considering a career in the auto insurance field there are some important things you need to know about becoming an auto insurance agent.
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Becoming an auto insurance agent is not extremely complicated when compared to some other things, such as being a brain surgeon. Yet, it’s also not something you can decide to do today and be immediately working tomorrow. There is at least a minimal amount of education required, if not some in-house training. There’s also state licensing to deal with.
Do I need a college degree to be an auto insurance agent?
We’ll answer that question by saying yes and no. Yes, to the extent that many of the larger and more prestigious auto insurance companies require a college education of some sort. Some require a four year degree in any area having to do with business and/or finance. Some may require your college education be specialized in the area of insurance. Thankfully, many community colleges and business schools have two year insurance-centered programs.
On the other hand, there are an equal number of insurance companies who either don’t require education or would prefer you not have it. Companies like these would rather train their own agents so that these individuals think and approach the insurance business the way the company does. In such cases the company will put the new agent through an extensive training process, which could last several months, to prepare him or her for licensing.
How does getting a license relate to me becoming an auto insurance agent?
Just about every state in the union has auto insurance-related laws that require all insurance agents to be licensed; this is true for all areas of insurance, not just auto. What’s different between the states are the requirements they have for licensure.
In some states you merely take a written exam and you’re done. Other states require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in addition to passing the test. Regardless, you won’t be allowed to sell insurance of any type until you are licensed.
For states that don’t require the associate’s or bachelor’s degree, candidates can simply study up on insurance law using information the state insurance department provides. That information may come in the form of textbooks, a synopsis of the law put out by the department, or other resources. As soon as the candidate is sufficiently confident she can pass the exam, the date is scheduled in the test taken. As long as the individual passes the test, she will be licensed.
Are there any advantages to becoming an auto insurance agent through on-the-job training?
As much as our American culture emphasizes the college education, there are some distinct advantages of becoming an auto insurance agent through a company’s on-the-job training program.
- First and foremost is the ability to “earn while you learn.” Many insurance companies that provide such training will pay candidates at least a minimum wage in exchange for them investing their time in the training classes.
- Second, you have the ability to learn the information and take the licensing exam in a process that usually takes no more than a month or so. Even in longer training programs that are extended out six or eight months, the time you spend being educated is still significantly less than if you were going to college. This means you’re out in the field that much sooner.
- Finally, it is advantageous to be trained in this manner if you’re the type of person who wants to work for a single company the rest of your life. While auto insurance products are very similar from one company to the next, each individual employer is going to have a particular way of doing things – which you will learn during the training process. If you can master the way your company does business, and you are successful in your sales, you will be more likely to be able to retain a position with your employer throughout your entire career.
Once I become an auto insurance agent, how will I get paid?
Though there are exceptions to the rule, generally speaking auto insurance agents get paid on a commission basis. This is to say that you will be compensated based on the number of policies you sell and the value of those policies. To ease the pressure on sales agents some insurance companies provide a base salary in addition to the commission. However, this base salary tends to be small; agents who depend on it rather than their commissions often don’t last very long.
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