A person who wants to become a life insurance agent doesn't necessarily need a university degree to reach his or her career goal. The person will instead need to take an insurance training course. Each state and province in Canada has set its own licensing requirements for life insurance agents. Once the training program has been completed, the prospective agent must pass insurance exams to be licensed. In some cases, a person gets his or her start by working as a customer service representative for an insurance company before taking the insurance training course.
Getting a degree in business is a good place for a person who wants to become a life insurance agent to start. Even though the agent may be hired to sell products from a single insurance carrier, he or she is operating a business. Income for life insurance agents comes from being paid a commission on the policies sold, not by collecting a salary.
A university program in business helps students learn about marketing, business administration, mathematics and finance. Courses in psychology or sociology would also be helpful to someone who wants to become a life insurance agent. Being comfortable making presentations is part of this type of work, and courses in public speaking would also be helpful.
Working for an insurance company as a customer service representative is a good way for an individual to get some industry experience. The role of a customer service representative involves answering questions from policyholders and helping to resolve coverage issues. The training provided by insurance carriers for this role is good preparation for an individual who wants to eventually become a life insurance agent.
The work that a life insurance agent does involves gathering information and advising clients about their insurance needs. The agent needs to be aware of the current laws affecting insurance sales for the state or province where he or she will be working. The prospective agent also needs to have a good level of product knowledge about the different coverage options available. A person who is training to become a life insurance agent also needs to be aware of the code of ethics governing this career choice.
Each jurisdiction requires a person who wants to become a life insurance agent to write an exam. In some cases, the individual must write more than one exam to be fully licensed to sell life insurance. The acceptable passing grade varies depending on the jurisdiction.