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Career and Education Opportunities for Insurance Agents in Los Angeles, California

There are many career and education opportunities for insurance agents in the Los Angeles, California area. Currently, 38,600 people work as insurance agents in California. This is expected to grow by 15% to about 44,200 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for insurance agents, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. Insurance agents generally sell life, property, or other types of insurance.

A person working as an insurance agent can expect to earn about $26 per hour or $55,930 annually on average in California and about $21 hourly or $45,430 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for insurance agents are better than earnings in the general category of Sales and Clerical in California and better than general Sales and Clerical category earnings nationally.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including two within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as an insurance agent. Insurance agents usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become an insurance agent if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Insurance Agent

Insurance Agent video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, insurance agents sell life, property, or other types of insurance. They also may refer clients to independent brokers, work as independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.

Insurance agents attend meetings, seminars and programs to learn about new products and services, learn new skills, and receive technical assistance in developing new accounts. They also sell various types of insurance policies to businesses and individuals on behalf of insurance companies. Equally important, insurance agents have to explain features, advantages and disadvantages of various policies to advance sale of insurance plans. They are often called upon to interview prospective clients to obtain data about their financial resources and needs, the physical state of the person or property to be insured, and to consider any existing coverage. They are expected to call on policyholders to deliver and explain policies, to analyze insurance programs and suggest additions or changes. Finally, insurance agents insure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including any needed medical examinations and the completion of appropriate forms.

Every day, insurance agents are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for insurance agents to perform administrative tasks. They are often called upon to design marketing strategies to compete with other individuals or companies who sell insurance. They also customize insurance programs to suit individual clients, often covering a variety of risks. They are sometimes expected to monitor insurance claims to insure they are settled equitably for both the client and the insurer. Somewhat less frequently, insurance agents are also expected to attend meetings, seminars and programs to learn about new products and services, learn new skills, and receive technical assistance in developing new accounts.

Insurance agents sometimes are asked to explain needed bookkeeping requirements for customer to execute and furnish group insurance program. And finally, they sometimes have to insure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including any needed medical examinations and the completion of appropriate forms.

Like many other jobs, insurance agents must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Advertising Agent. Sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time. May obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailer to use sales promotion display items.
  • Cage Cashier. Exchange coins and tokens for patrons' money. May issue payoffs and obtain customer's signature on receipt when winnings exceed the amount held in the slot machine. May operate a booth in the slot machine area and furnish change persons with money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers.
  • Cashier. Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. Usually involves use of electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. Often involved in processing credit or debit card transactions and validating checks.
  • Product Demonstrator. Demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. May sell demonstrated merchandise.
  • Real Estate Agent. Rent, buy, or sell property for clients. Perform duties, such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts. Includes agents who represent buyer.
  • Retail Sales Manager. Directly supervise sales workers in a retail establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Retail Salesman. Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.
  • Sales Team Manager. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties, such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Technical Service Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of post-secondary education.
  • Telemarketer. Solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Insurance Agent Training

Glendale Community College - Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College, 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208-2894. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,993 students. Glendale Community College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Insurance which graduated one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Insurance.

CERTIFICATIONS

Accredited Adviser in Insurance: The Accredited Adviser in Insurance program gives you the tools you need to establish a clear professional advantage in the marketplace and fulfill your commitment to customer service.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Associate in Insurance Services: The Associate in Insurance Services program is a nationally recognized educational program designed specifically for insurance personnel.

For more information, see the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America website.

Certified Pension Consultant: The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is designed for benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial administration, insurance, and financial planning.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Board Certified Estate Planner: Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) is the only designation designed and offered to brokers, advisors, and planners who have clients interested in estate accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Fund Specialists website.

Certified Sales Professional: The Certified Sales Professional (CSP) program gives a thorough understanding of consultative selling.

For more information, see the Manufacturers Representatives Educational Research Foundation website.

Certified Salesperson: The SMEI Certified Professional Salesperson program is ideal for professionals who are employed as a sales representatives, account managers, distributor representatives and business development personnel.

For more information, see the Sales & Marketing Executives International website.

LICENSES

Fire and Casualty Broker-Agent

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

Life Agent

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

Motor (Automobile) Club Agent

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

Part-time Fraternal Agent

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

Personal Lines Broker-Agent License (Insurance)

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

Surplus Lines Broker

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

Travel Insurance Agent

Licensing agency: Department of Insurance
Address: Producer Licensing Bureau, 320 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 322-3555
Website: Department of Insurance Producer Licensing Bureau

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.