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The First Year: A Realistic Look at Your First Insurance Job

Forget the first day jitters: what can you expect during your first year in an insurance job? Whether you've just graduated or you're shifting careers, your first year is a year of getting to know your new field and learning more about your place in it. If you've just landed your first insurance job or you're looking right now, here are some insights that will help you get ready for that first year.

It's All About People

While the insurance industry might seem like it's about numbers and risk, it's also about people. Insurance agents are responsible for making a small business work, connecting with prospective clients and meeting their needs. The way you brand your business, market your products, contact clients, and serve them in an emergency all matter to your bottom line. When you're working in the insurance industry, be prepared to be a people person.

Your Colleagues Will Come From Diverse Backgrounds

You'll be working with people of widely varied backgrounds. Within the insurance industry, there are a variety of positions from call center staff who may have sales and customer service experience to underwriters who may have professional experience in a field such as nursing. Expect to be surprised at the diverse and competent colleagues that you work with during your first year, and get to know how their positions contribute to the success of your company.

A Moving Experience

Depending on where you live, you may have opportunities to work for local insurance companies or you may decide to travel, looking to suburbs or other cities for job opportunities. You'll need to decide who you'd like to work with. Larger insurance firms may have opportunities abroad, while smaller companies are well-rooted in the community where you want to stay.

You Can Integrate Your Interests

You'll find that insurance is a far more diverse industry than you anticipated, and it's one that may be able to accommodate your personal interests as well. If you love boats, there's marine insurance. If you adore jewelry or art, there's a place for you. While you may not move into that position right away, set your sights on it and plan to gain as much experience as possible so that you can move into a position that's ideal for you.

Some Fields Are Booming

There are distinct areas of growth in the insurance sector, and you may find yourself working in a job with a slightly different focus than you'd anticipated. Due to the rising tide of Baby Boomers, medical service and health insurance is growing. Strong competition in the auto insurance industry has resulted in lower rates and lower growth. If you're setting your sights on an insurance job, consider focusing in the health field.

There's Room for Your Salary to Grow

Jobs within the insurance field are diverse. According to TalentEgg, the insurance field is unique in its wide spread of entry-level positions. These include insurance agents, underwriters, loss adjusters, risk managers, appraisers, actuaries, claims investigators, loss control specialists, and sales staff. Salaries vary between jobs, but an entry-level insurance sales agent makes an average of $33,000 per year. As you grow within your field, you'll find that you may receive additional bonuses and raises.

You'll Enjoy a Stable Career Trajectory

Compared to many industries, the insurance industry is "fairly recession-proof, because insurance companies tend to be fiscally conservative and Americans need insurance whether the economy is up or down," says Monster. Many managers in the insurance industry are reaching retirement age, which means that there's ample room for career shifts within the industry as well.

As you investigate options in your insurance career, consider joining the American Agents Alliance. We're a hub for small insurance agents, and with our informative insurance conferences, opportunities for networking, and other membership benefits, we can help you gain insight during the first year of your insurance career.

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