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Career and Education Opportunities for Insurance Agents in Alexandria, Virginia

Insurance agent career and educational opportunities abound in Alexandria, Virginia. The national trend for insurance agents 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.

Insurance agents earn approximately $20 per hour or $42,270 yearly on average in Virginia. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $45,430 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as insurance agents in Virginia earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

The Alexandria area is home to eighty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree as an insurance agent. Insurance agents usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Alexandria 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Insurance which graduated eight 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 Sales Agent

Licensing agency: Virginia State Corporation Commission
Address: Bureau of Insurance, 1300 East Main Street, 5th/6th floors, Tyler Building, Richmond, VA 23218

Phone: (800) 552-7945
Website: Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance

LOCATION INFORMATION: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.