The two lists were compiled in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Jobs 2015
The U.S. News and World Report has issued its annual edition of Best Jobs. In the 2015 report, insurance agent came out as one of both the Top 100 Jobs and one of the top ten business jobs. In addition to ranking all professions in an overall “Best Jobs” list, the magazine then creates six mutually exclusive industry lists: Best Business Jobs, Best Creative jobs, Best Construction Jobs, Best Health Care Jobs, Best Social Services Jobs and Best Technology Jobs. Each profession’s statistics are reviewed and ranked by several components which are then calculated into a single component score between 0 and 5.
According to the magazine, the list is first compiled by reviewing which jobs have the greatest hiring demand, based upon the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Next each job is then measure via the following seven components:
Insurance requires more expertise than many other sales jobs – Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” President”
- 10-Year Growth Volume (10%)
- 10-Year Growth Percentage (10%)
- Median Salary (30%)
- Job Prospects (20 %)
- Employment Rate (20%)
- Stress Level (5 %)
- Work-Life Balance (5 %)
Where insurance agent ranks on the overall list
In 2015, the U.S. News and World Report rank of the Top 100 Best Jobs ranked “insurance agent” as the 33rd best job in the country. It also ranked “insurance agent” as the seventh best job in its list of the Top 10 Best Business Jobs. The magazine which gave three of out five stars to the job of insurance agent, estimated there were about 45,900 insurance agent jobs in the country with an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent. It placed the median salary for an insurance agent at $48,210, but that the highest paid 10 percent made more than $117,830 while the lowest paid 10 percent made less than $26,030.
In explaining why, it said the following:
Roughly a quarter of agents work for an insurance company and often sell its products exclusively. About half work for an independent insurance agency or brokerage and sell the products of many insurance companies. Nearly 20 percent are self-employed. Commissions are an important source of income for most agents, although a smaller number hold salaried positions. Agents spend considerable time developing and pursuing sales leads. Consumer policy agents do a lot of telephone and office work, while commercial agents are more likely to be out in the field with customers. Independent agents who work for a brokerage may have irregular hours, but they also have more control over their work schedules than agents who work for an insurance company or spend most of their time in an office. There tends to be a lot of turnover in this career, because many new agents struggle to earn sufficient commission income and switch to other occupations.
Prospects for insurance agents are closely tied to the growth of the broader economy, so the slow but steady recovery from the recession is providing improved job opportunities and stability for professionals in this industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects insurance-agent employment growth of 10.4 percent between 2012 and 2022. That’s an additional 45,900 jobs that should open up before the end of that period.
What the Big “I” said in the report
At the end of the profile, IIABA President Robert Rusbuldt was interviewed about the pros and cons of being an insurance agent and what advice he would give to potential candidates.
Insurance requires more expertise than many other sales jobs, says Robert Rusbuldt, president and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Employers are looking for strong sales skills, an aggressive, positive attitude and strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills. “Being an extrovert helps. You are in sales, after all,” he says. “Being able to forge relationships with people, particularly in the commercial lines of business,” is very important. He adds: “Employers want to know that you’re a person of integrity and someone they can rely on.”
While knowledge of insurance and prior training in the field are always a plus, Rusbuldt says hiring managers want people who are willing to learn and hungry for a career in the field. “You can teach insurance,” he says. “You can’t teach the willingness to learn.”