by Jacques Wong of PNC Learning
The insurance industry is one of the most important sectors in Canada. It provides financial protection for individuals and businesses and contributes significantly to the economy.
You want to launch your career in the insurance industry in Canada, but you don’t know where to start. There are many paths to becoming a general insurance agent, and some of them take longer than others.
If you are considering a career in insurance, here are some tips to help you get started:
Becoming licensed & certified is the first step as you launch your career in the insurance industry.
Becoming licensed and certified is critical as you launch your career in the insurance industry. It’s important not to worry about what other people’s goals are, but rather focus on your own ambitions, which should be ambitious but realistic at the same time.
You need a license to work in this field, so you might as well get one! The first thing you should do is get your insurance license, which will allow you to work as an insurance agent or broker. To do so, you’ll need to meet several requirements and pass an exam, but it’s not too difficult—you just have to study hard and stay focused! Good thing is that there are organizations that provide education courses including PNC Insurance courses online.
Setting the foundation.
The next step in launching your insurance career is learning about the industry and its various players. There are several associations that regulate, govern, and promote the insurance profession such as:
- Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC) – responsible for creating training standards across Canada;
- Chartered Accountants of Ontario (CAO) – regulates CFOs;
- Canadian Society of Actuaries (CSA) – regulates actuaries;
- Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) – regulates actuarial students/members who want to practice in Canada
Network, network, network – it’s all about who you know!
Networking is a key skill for any professional. Don’t be fooled by the word “networking”, it is not just about meeting people. Networking means building relationships with others in your industry that can help you and get you to where you want to go next in life. It may sound intimidating at first but if done right, networking can put you ahead of the competition!
Here are some ways to network:
- Attend events like meetups or conferences in your field (you will find them on Eventbrite).
- Get involved with social media groups related to your career interests (LinkedIn has lots of groups) and connect with others interested in similar topics as yours.
- Talk to people who are working where they want to work now or have worked there before – ask them how they got their job and what advice they would give someone looking for employment there today. * Ask friends who work at companies that interest you – ask them if they would introduce you as an acquaintance of theirs when visiting their office so that people know why they met each other at parties/events, etc.
Finding an entry-level position.
If you’re looking to start your career in the insurance industry in Canada, it’s important to know that there are many different entry-level positions available. Whether you’re interested in working at a small local agency or a large international company, there’s something for everyone. To do this, you should:
- Check your local newspaper’s classified listings.
- Search online job boards (and avoid the ones that are free).
- Look for temp agencies and headhunters in your area.
Once you’ve found an opening you can contact HR at that company directly by sending them an email or making a phone call. Tell them about yourself and why you want this job – keep it short but professional! It’s important to be realistic about what kind of salary you can expect with an entry-level position. In some cases, starting salaries are very low, but this may be because there is more opportunity for advancement than at other companies. The good news is that there are many different types of jobs available in insurance—you just have to find one that fits your interests and goals.
Finding a mentor within your brokerage or at a related association.
Mentorship is a common practice in the insurance industry and can be an invaluable resource for your professional development.
It’s helpful to have someone with experience that you can turn to when you’re facing challenges, whether they’re related to your career or not. Mentors can also be helpful in networking, which is crucial for those looking to launch their careers in the insurance industry.
If you don’t know where to find a mentor within your brokerage or at a related association, consider attending events hosted by these organizations (like conferences). Another option is reaching out directly via social media; many people are eager to share their knowledge with others who are interested in learning from them!
Take your licensing training and certification seriously.
One of the most important steps in building a career in insurance is obtaining your licensing or certification. Each province has its own standards regarding what it takes to get a license and this process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Once you’ve finished your coursework and passed all exams, you’ll need to wait for your license before you can start working as an insurance agent or broker.
The cost of becoming licensed varies widely depending on location. In addition, be aware that there will be fees associated with taking courses and applying for licenses which vary per person depending on how long it takes for students to complete their education/training requirements.
Launching a career in the insurance industry can offer many benefits and opportunities.
Launching a career in the insurance industry can offer many benefits and opportunities. To begin with, it’s important to note that there are many different options for how you can launch your career as well as opportunities for growth within the industry.
Furthermore, being able to help others is one of the most rewarding aspects of being an insurance agent. The ability to create a better future for yourself while helping others achieve theirs through proper planning and risk management strategies is truly unique when compared with other lines of work.
Finally, because so many people recognize the value of having protection against unforeseen circumstances such as illness or injury (and sometimes death), being part of an industry that provides this type of coverage makes it easy for new agents looking for long-term employment prospects which will allow them plenty time after completing their training program before needing additional skills or certification.
Jacques Wong is an award-winning insurance professional who has worked in education since 2009 and in the insurance industry since 2013. In 2015 and 2019, he won an Insurance Council award for academic excellence after scoring 97% in his CAIB 3 exam and 96% in CAIB 4 (the highest marks in the province). He brings his study method, blended with his educational background and his ability to simplify complex ideas to students through these online courses. Outside of his day job as an insurance broker, he lends his industry expertise to readers by writing for Insuranceopedia (a Canadian insurance publication) and Trusted Union among others. He’s also held educational webinars in front of hundreds of insurance professionals.