How to Become an Insurance Agent – Who Can Be an Insurance Agent?

Has the thought of becoming an insurance agent come to mind before? Wondering how to become an insurance agent? Or maybe you’re considering a career change or looking for a profession that offers flexibility, growth potential, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

How to Become an Insurance Agent

Becoming an insurance agent might be the perfect fit for you. Plus, the process is not as stressful as you might think, well, of course, with the right directions and steps. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before embarking on this rewarding career path.

Who Can Be an Insurance Agent?

One of the great aspects of becoming an insurance agent is that it’s a career open to a wide range of individuals. While there are no strict requirements regarding educational background, having a degree in business, finance, or a related field can be advantageous. However, individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets can excel in this field. 

With that said, here are some key qualities that successful insurance agents often possess;

  • Strong communication skills: Insurance agents must effectively communicate complex insurance policies and concepts to clients clearly and understandably.
  • Sales acumen: The ability to identify client’s needs, present suitable insurance solutions, and close deals is essential for success in this field.
  • Ethical conduct: Insurance agents handle sensitive financial information and must adhere to strict ethical standards and regulations.

Requirements to Become an Insurance Agent

To become an insurance agent, the following requirements are needed;


Before you can legally sell insurance, you must obtain the appropriate licenses for the types of insurance you plan to sell. Licensing requirements vary by state and may include completing pre-licensing courses, passing state licensing exams, and undergoing background checks.

Education and Training

While not always mandatory, completing relevant education and training programs, like a graduate certificate in finance online, can enhance your knowledge and skills as an insurance agent. Many states require a certain number of pre-licensing education hours, which can be completed through approved courses offered by educational institutions or online platforms.


Decide on the types of insurance you want to specialize in based on your interests, market demand, and career goals. Common specializations include life insurance, health insurance, property and casualty insurance, and more.


Building a strong network within the insurance industry and local community can help you establish valuable connections, gain referrals, and expand your client base. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with experienced agents for mentorship and guidance.

How to Become an Insurance Agent

Now, let’s go to the part that you have been waiting for. Here’s how to become an insurance agent;

1. Research

First, you have to familiarize yourself with the insurance industry, including different types of insurance products, market trends, and regulatory requirements. This will give you a clear picture of the path to choose.

2. Choose an Insurance Company

Decide whether you want to work for an insurance company as a captive agent or operate independently as a broker. Captive agents represent a specific insurance company and sell its products exclusively, while brokers work with multiple insurance companies to offer a broader range of options to clients.

3. Obtain Licenses

Next, you need to fulfill the licensing requirements in your state by completing pre-licensing education, passing the state licensing exam(s), and submitting any required applications and fees.

4. Join an Agency or Start Your Own

Consider whether you want to join an established insurance agency or start your independent agency. Working for an agency can provide training, support, and resources, and starting your own agency offers autonomy and flexibility.

5. Continuous Learning and Development

Stay informed about changes in insurance laws, products, and industry best practices through ongoing education and professional development opportunities. This will help you stay competitive in the dynamic insurance market and better serve your clients.

Do I Need a Degree to be an Insurance Agent?

No, you don’t necessarily need a degree to be an insurance agent. Many insurance agencies value relevant skills, industry knowledge, and sales experience. Licensing requirements and on-the-job training are often more critical factors.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Insurance Agent?

It typically takes a few weeks to a few months to become an insurance agent. This timeframe includes completing pre-licensing education, passing the licensing exam, and undergoing any required background checks.

How Much Does it Cost to Get an Insurance License?

The cost to obtain an insurance license varies by state and the type of insurance. Generally, it ranges from $50 to $200 for pre-licensing education, plus exam fees, which can be around $50 to $200. Additional costs may include fingerprinting and background check fees. Overall, the total cost can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.

Is Being an Insurance Agent a Good Career Choice?

Whether being an insurance agent is a good career choice depends on individual preferences and skills. It can offer flexibility, potential for high earnings through commissions, and opportunities for advancement.

However, success often requires strong sales and interpersonal skills. It’s essential to consider personal interests and career goals before pursuing this profession.

How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?

Insurance agents’ earnings can vary widely based on factors like experience, location, and the type of insurance they sell. On average, insurance agents in the United States earn a commission-based income, and annual earnings can range from $30,000 to $100,000 or more.

Top-performing agents may earn significantly higher, including six-figure incomes, especially if they build a robust client base and sell high-value insurance products.

Is Being an Insurance Agent Stressful?

Being an insurance agent can be stressful due to factors such as meeting sales targets, handling client concerns, and dealing with market uncertainties. The pressure to meet goals and navigate a competitive industry can contribute to stress.

However, some agents thrive in this environment, finding satisfaction in helping clients and the potential for financial rewards. The level of stress can vary based on personal resilience, work environment, and individual preferences.

Do insurance agents get paid hourly?

Insurance agents typically do not get paid hourly. Instead, they earn commissions based on the insurance products they sell. Commissions are usually a percentage of the premiums paid by the policyholders.

Additionally, some insurance agents may receive bonuses or incentives based on performance. While some agencies may offer a base salary or draw against future commissions, the primary source of income for insurance agents is through commissions.

Is the insurance license exam hard?

The difficulty of the insurance license exam can vary based on individual preparation, familiarity with the material, and the specific licensing requirements of the state. Some find the exam challenging due to the comprehensive nature of insurance concepts and regulations.

To improve their chances of success, individuals often take pre-licensing courses, utilize study materials, and practice with sample exams. While it requires dedication, many individuals successfully pass the exam with thorough preparation.


Becoming an insurance agent can be a fulfilling and financially rewarding career choice for individuals with strong communication skills, sales acumen, and a passion for helping others. By obtaining the necessary licenses, gaining relevant education and training, and building a strong network, you can embark on a successful journey in the insurance industry and make a positive impact on the lives of your clients.

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