Insurance Sales Agents
Sell life, property, casualty, health, automotive, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as an independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
Sample of reported job titles: Insurance Agent, Insurance Broker, Insurance Sales Agent, Sales Agent, Sales Associate, Sales Representative, Underwriting Sales Representative
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Customize insurance programs to suit individual customers, often covering a variety of risks.
- Sell various types of insurance policies to businesses and individuals on behalf of insurance companies, including automobile, fire, life, property, medical and dental insurance, or specialized policies, such as marine, farm/crop, and medical malpractice.
- Explain features, advantages, and disadvantages of various policies to promote sale of insurance plans.
- Perform administrative tasks, such as maintaining records and handling policy renewals.
- Seek out new clients and develop clientele by networking to find new customers and generate lists of prospective clients.
- Call on policyholders to deliver and explain policy, to analyze insurance program and suggest additions or changes, or to change beneficiaries.
- Confer with clients to obtain and provide information when claims are made on a policy.
- Interview prospective clients to obtain data about their financial resources and needs, the physical condition of the person or property to be insured, and to discuss any existing coverage.
- Contact underwriter and submit forms to obtain binder coverage.
- Select company that offers type of coverage requested by client to underwrite policy.
- Ensure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including any necessary medical examinations and the completion of appropriate forms.
- Develop marketing strategies to compete with other individuals or companies who sell insurance.
- Calculate premiums and establish payment method.
- Attend meetings, seminars, and programs to learn about new products and services, learn new skills, and receive technical assistance in developing new accounts.
- Monitor insurance claims to ensure they are settled equitably for both the client and the insurer.
- Plan and oversee incorporation of insurance program into bookkeeping system of company.
- Inspect property, examining its general condition, type of construction, age, and other characteristics, to decide if it is a good insurance risk.
- Install bookkeeping systems and resolve system problems.
- Explain necessary bookkeeping requirements for customer to implement and provide group insurance program.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Allied Financial Software Act4Advisors; Applied Systems Vision; Insurance Technologies ForeSight Enterprise; Tangle S Creations Your Insurance Office (see all 12 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Insurance Technology Consultants WOW
- Document management software — Allstar Software Systems Kofax
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Advantage Information Systems The Agency Advantage; AMS Services AMS Sagitta; Microsoft Dynamics ; Vulcan Solutions Vulcan Insurance (see all 28 examples)
- Financial analysis software — Cygnus Software IncomeMax; Insurance analysis software; Insurance rating software; Underwriting software
- Instant messaging software — GroupMe
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS ; Medical procedure coding software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToMeeting; Zoom
- Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects ; Apple Final Cut Pro; YouTube
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook ; LinkedIn
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
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- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Customize financial products or services to meet customer needs.
- Sell products or services.
- Explain financial information to customers.
- Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
- Take product orders from customers.
- Develop professional relationships or networks.
- Identify potential customers.
- Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
- Prepare sales or other contracts.
- Examine documents to verify adherence to requirements.
- Develop marketing plans or strategies.
- Review accuracy of sales or other transactions.
- Calculate costs of goods or services.
- Process sales or other transactions.
- Manage information technology projects or system activities.
- Examine condition of property or products.
- Attend events to develop professional knowledge.
- Study product information to acquire professional knowledge.
- Install computer software.
- Resolve computer software problems.
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 99% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 73% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 72% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 82% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 56% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 33% responded “Some freedom.”
- Letters and Memos — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 34% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 33% responded “Extremely important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 64% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Very important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Consequence of Error — 32% responded “Serious.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Bachelor’s degree|
|Not available||Associate’s degree|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: ECS Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$25.08 hourly, $52,180 annual|
|Employment (2020)||507,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||50,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Finance and Insurance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- America’s Health Insurance Plans
- American Council of Life Insurers
- American Insurance Association
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
- Group Underwriters Association of America
- Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
- Insurance Information Institute
- International Association of Insurance Professionals
- Million Dollar Round Table
- National Association of Health Underwriters
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
- National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Insurance sales agents
- Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
- Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters
- The Institutes
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