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Getting into the Insurance Industry in California: Types of Jobs and a How-To Guide

Getting into the Insurance Industry in California: Job Types and a HowTo Guide Insurance companies need more than just agents and salespeople to function. Most companies offer a range of career options that can suit people with different skill sets. Knowing the jobs available and the basic requirements for obtaining them can be beneficial when starting your insurance career. In this article, we will discuss the different types of insurance jobs and the most common steps to help you get into the insurance industry in California.

 

What is an insurance job?

Careers in insurance include a range of jobs with different responsibilities and titles. Though insurance agents are the most well known of these careers, it takes many other employees performing important tasks to run a successful insurance company.

Each of these positions deals with different aspects of the insurance field and requires a thorough understanding of insurance products and services as well as the laws and regulations governing insurance. Many of these are entry-level positions that can help you attain experience before advancing into other roles in this industry.

In addition, there are also many careers in to insurance that aren’t related to sales but instead investigate, analyze or assess clients and claims to determine factors such as pricing and payout amounts.

Types of insurance jobs

There are many types of jobs within insurance companies, typically lending support either to insurance agents, the clients or senior management.

Some of the support jobs found in most insurance companies include:

  • Customer service representative

  • Administrative assistant

  • Claims representative

  • Junior underwriter

  • Marketing assistant

  • Processing clerk

For those interested in working directly with clients, ensuring they receive adequate compensation or creating insurance packages for them, consider some of the following positions:

  • Insurance agent/salesperson

  • Senior underwriter

  • Claims adjuster

  • Claims examiner

Most insurance companies also require significant analytical work to determine the insurance offered to clients, the price of premiums based on a client’s risk factors or to assess a workplace’s safety. Such analytical positions in the insurance industry include:

  • Risk analyst

  • Actuary

  • Loss control specialist

Helpful skills for insurance jobs

Though there are many types of insurance jobs, most require a similar set of skills. Most of these skills help in building and maintaining client relationships, assessing data and risk factors and accomplishing administrative tasks. Some of the most helpful skills and traits for insurance workers are:

  • Analytical skills

  • Computer literacy

  • Math literacy

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Communication skills

  • Customer service

  • Attention to detail

  • Organization

  • Problem-solving abilities

How to get a job in an insurance company

Despite there being a wide variety of insurance careers, many of them involve similar career paths. It’s best practice to research the specific insurance job that interests you and find its requirements, recommended education and experience. However, when looking for general tips for getting into the insurance industry, consider the following steps:

1. Earn your high school diploma

Though many advanced insurance positions require a college degree, there are some entry-level positions that require a high school diploma. For example, some insurance sales positions do not require a degree, provided you have strong communication, sales and interpersonal skills.

2. Earn a bachelor’s degree

Insurance careers that focus on the analytical and business aspects of the field require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. Degrees that can prepare you for a career in the insurance industry include:

  • Business

  • Finance

  • Mathematics

  • Marketing

  • Accounting

3. Earn a master’s degree

Though few insurance careers require a master’s degree, those that do involve more responsibility, a higher position within the company and, often, a higher rate of pay. Again, these jobs prefer degrees in business, mathematics, finance and similar fields.

4. Gain work experience

Many employers prefer their associate or senior-level employees to have some experience working in the insurance field to gain an understanding of how insurance companies operate. You can achieve this through an internship or an entry-level role such as an administrative assistant or sales representative.

5. Earn a certification or designation

Once you’ve identified the specific position you want, earning a certification in that area can help improve your resume. Many certifications are available and can help show your desire to further your education and improve your skill set. If you can’t find in-person classes, online courses offer certifications in areas such as:

  • Accounting

  • Statistics

  • Risk management

  • Insurance law

Alternatively, some institutes offer professional designations to show you’ve continued your education in areas specific to insurance careers. Some of these designations include:

  • Associate in Claims

  • Associate in General Insurance

  • Associate in Insurance Data Analytics

  • Accredited Adviser in Insurance

6. Network

Networking is often a helpful step in finding job openings and getting interviews. If you know anyone in the insurance industry, consider asking them if they know of any job opportunities or for introductions to others in the field.

Joining a professional insurance organization is another option for building a network and making yourself known within the insurance industry. An online search might also reveal local meetup groups for those in or interested in insurance careers.

Networking can do more than connect you with hiring managers. Meeting other professionals within the same field can help you learn current insurance trends, helpful tips and skills for accomplishing work tasks. You may also find a mentor who can coach you and aid in your self-improvement.

7. Research your desired employers

Since there are several types of insurance, such as health, car and life insurance, the different companies offering each kind likely have their own requirements, expected education level and desired amount of experience. Consider researching the companies where you’d most like to work so you can seek the necessary qualifications. Researching each company also helps you understand industry trends and terminology, which can help you prepare for future interviews.

Getting into the Insurance Industry in California: Types of Jobs and a How-To Guide

Getting into the Insurance Industry in California: Types of Jobs and a How-To Guide
Getting into the Insurance Industry in California: Types of Jobs and a How-To Guide

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