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Career and Education Opportunities for Insurance Agents in Madison, Wisconsin

For those living in the Madison, Wisconsin area, there are many career and education opportunities for insurance agents. About 8,990 people are currently employed as insurance agents in Wisconsin. By 2016, this is expected to grow 22% to about 10,930 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for insurance agents are expected to grow by about 11.9%. Insurance agents generally sell life, property, or other types of insurance.

Insurance agents earn approximately $22 per hour or $47,770 annually on average in Wisconsin. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $45,430 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as insurance agents in Wisconsin earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Madison area, including one within twenty-five miles of Madison 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 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 Madison include:

  • 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.
  • 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 Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1380. University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large university located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 41,581 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Wisconsin-Madison has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Insurance which graduated twenty-three and four 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 INTERMEDIARY ( AGENT)

Licensing agency: Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
Address: 125 South Webster Street, PO Box 7873, Madison, WI 53707-7873

Phone: (608) 266-8699
Website: Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

LOCATION INFORMATION: Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.