Insurance Broker Education Requirements
An insurance broker, sometimes referred to as an insurance agent, helps clients purchase insurance policies. Brokers are independent agents who typically represent multiple insurance companies. Some brokers specialize in one area of insurance, such as life, auto, death or health insurance, and others may work exclusively with individuals or groups. Read on for more information about the education required to become a licensed, insurance broker.
Insurance Broker Educational Requirements
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that employers prefer insurance brokers who have completed a college degree program, although completion of a degree program is not necessarily required to become a licensed broker (www.bls.gov). Many states only require license applicants to complete a minimal amount of postsecondary coursework prior to taking the licensing examination. While not mandatory, brokers may complete degree programs in fields like insurance, finance or economics to prepare for licensing exams and make themselves more attractive to employers.
Degree programs in finance and economics often include coursework in business and law, management information systems, investment management and financial planning. Although degree programs in insurance and risk management provide direct industry training, these programs are less common. Of the available insurance and risk management degree programs, coursework can include insurance operations, life and health insurance, business planning, commercial risk management and employee benefits. The BLS predicts a 22% increase in insurance sales agents from 2010-2020, and these workers' median salary was $48,150 as of a May 2012 BLS report.
Insurance brokers must have advanced technical skills to use job-specific software programs and communicate with clients via the Internet, according to the BLS. Insurance brokers also need basic commuter skills to create documents, complete reports, communicate through e-mail and conduct online research. Many employers train new insurance brokers to use company-specific software, such as programs used to generate insurance price quotes or to cross-reference insurance-policy packages.
To maintain licensure, most states require insurance brokers to complete continuing education coursework. Participating in continuing education programs allows insurance brokers to stay current on changes concerning legal issues, insurance policy structures and new insurance technologies. If brokers deal in more than one type of insurance, some states require workers to hold multiple licenses. In these cases, brokers may be required to complete additional continuing education to meet the renewal requirements for each issued license.
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