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Career and Education Opportunities for Insurance Agents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for insurance agents in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. There are currently 5,690 working insurance agents in Iowa; this should grow by 23% to about 6,980 working insurance agents in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for insurance agents are expected to grow by about 11.9%. In general, insurance agents sell life, property, or other types of insurance.

Insurance agents earn about $19 hourly or $41,140 per year on average in Iowa and about $21 per hour or $45,430 annually on average nationally. Earnings for insurance agents are better than earnings in the general category of Sales and Clerical in Iowa and better than general Sales and Clerical category earnings nationally.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as an insurance agent. Given that the most common education level for insurance agents is a Bachelor's degree, 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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • 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.
  • 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

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Insurance which graduated zero and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

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

Insurance Producer (Agent)

Licensing agency: Agent Licensing Bureau
Address: Division of Insurance, Iowa Department of Commerce Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone: (515) 281-7760
Website: Agent Licensing Bureau Division of Insurance Iowa Department of Commerce

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.