How to Become an Insurance Consultant: Step-by-Step Career Guide
Learn how to become an insurance consultant. Research the job duties and the education requirements and find out how to start a career in insurance consultation.
Do I Want to Be 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.
Insurance consultants typically have high school diplomas and often learn the position through on-the-job training provided by the employer. State licensure usually based on completing courses and exams is required to sell insurance policies. Certifications in areas of specialty are often available. The following table contains some of the most common requirements for becoming an insurance consultant:
|Degree Level||No college degree required, but some states require minimal training*|
|Experience||Varies from 0 to 2 years*|
|Licensure||State licensure required**|
|Key Skills||Strong customer service, communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills; solution-oriented*|
|Computer Skills||Proficiency in MS Office*|
|Additional Requirements||Favorable driving record and credit history preferred by some employers*|
Source: *Job postings from Jan. 2013, **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, according to 2013 job postings. Entry-level employment as an insurance claims representative may provide the experience needed for hiring without having yet obtained the license requirements needed to be a consultant. This position may require representatives to handle inbound calls regarding insurance claims, gather facts, assist customers and provide information.
- Develop business, customer service and computer skills. Online certification classes, such as for Microsoft Office certification, can provide candidates with skills employers prefer. Participating in business classes and customer service or public speaking training is another way to gain valuable skills.
Step 2: Complete the Necessary Education
While a degree isn't necessary for most insurance consultant jobs, some states have minimal education requirements for licensing. Candidates may need to complete a minimum amount of state-approved course hours in different lines of insurance. In some states, the education requirements may be waived if the candidates are 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 to take the licensing exam.
Step 4: Earn Continuing Education Credits
Most states require insurance consultants to renew their license every 2 years by meeting continuing education requirements. Areas of study vary depending on the type of insurance the consultant specializes in 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.
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