Becoming an insurance agent can be a lucrative career, even in an agent’s first year on the job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics the projected rate of change in employment as an insurance agent will spike 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, and hard-working agents can earn over $100,000 in their first year of sales. Although there are no educational qualification guidelines aside from a high school diploma to enter this career, most employers favor an employee with a college education.
According to Farmers Insurance, one benefit to being an insurance agent is that you are your own boss. Taking business classes will arm you with the knowledge to better manage yourself and grow your revenue by increasing your business. These classes teach students marketing skills that will draw more clients, as well as the key to successful entrepreneurship. Business classes also teach people about finances, economics and management skills.
As an insurance agent, you will be dealing with a diverse population ranging from various socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles. Knowing how to communicate effectively and professionally with all types of people will make you a more successful insurance agent. UCLA’s Department of Communication Studies offers courses that teach a number of basic theories to improve one’s oral communication skills. Communication courses will also help people become persuasive in their speaking, which is vital to an insurance agent’s success.
You may not need to know the symbolism within a Truman Capote novel, but taking an introductory English course will help you improve your writing abilities and increase your vocabulary. As an insurance agent, you will have to communicate via e-mail with clients, potential clients and insurance underwriters. If you can’t write professionally and accurately, you may risk tarnishing your reputation. It might even be advantageous to take one advanced literature course. A class like this will help improve your writing even more, as stricter writing expectations are placed on essays, and such classes train students to think critically.
Computer Science Classes
Every single major insurance office is computerized, and taking computer science classes will help make you efficient in using job-related software, performing simple computer tasks, enhancing your Internet skills, and even helping you better market yourself on social media platforms. In computer science classes, such as those offered at Hunter College, you can take courses that teach spreadsheet techniques for topics like money, stocks, credit cards and mortgages. Insurance agents who can master computer spreadsheets will be able to keep better track of their clients’ data.
Jen Saunders is an entrepreneur and veteran journalist who covers a wide range of topics. She made the transition to writing after having spent 12 years in England where she studied and taught English literature.