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Career and Education Opportunities for Insurance Agents in Boston, Massachusetts

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for insurance agents in the Boston, Massachusetts area. There are currently 9,950 jobs for insurance agents in Massachusetts and this is projected to grow 5% to about 10,420 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for insurance agents, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. In general, insurance agents sell life, property, or other types of insurance.

The income of an insurance agent is about $28 hourly or $59,430 yearly on average in Massachusetts. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $45,430 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as insurance agents in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

The Boston area is home to 151 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree as an insurance agent. Insurance agents usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be 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 Boston 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

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has a master's degree program in Insurance which graduated twenty-nine students 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 ADVISER

Licensing agency: Division of Insurance
Address: One South Station, Boston, MA 02110

Phone: (617) 521-7794
Website: Division of Insurance

INSURANCE AGENT

Licensing agency: Division of Insurance
Address: One South Station, Boston, MA 02110

Phone: (617) 521-7794
Website: Division of Insurance

INSURANCE BROKER

Licensing agency: Division of Insurance
Address: One South Station, Boston, MA 02110

Phone: (617) 521-7794
Website: Division of Insurance

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.