How to Get a Life Insurance License

The life insurance industry provides a challenging and lucrative career opportunity to recent college graduates holding financial degrees ranging from accounting to statistics. Agents formerly only offered and administrated insurance policies that paid cash benefits to survivors of the policy owner after death; now life insurance professionals provide a wide range of estate planning financial instruments to their clients. As the range of services has expanded so have the certification requirements; currently all 50 states require perspective agents to have a life insurance license.

Determine the level of financial services you want to provide to your clients. A Health and Life license permits the sale of basic insurance products such as term and whole life policies, but providing wider range financial services such as investment products and commercial securities requires more extensive licensure.

Be prepared to complete approximately 40 hours of course work prior to testing for a license. These classes include every aspect of basic life insurance sales from state and local regulations and laws to ethics and client management. Most states also require licensed life insurance agents regularly participate in continuing education courses; contact your state Department of Revenue to establish the specific educational requirements for your area.

Investigate the various educational outlets available to you. Life insurance licensure courses are available through many reputable institutions online and off. Consider the range of service you plan to offer clients; it determines the number of courses you'll be required to take. Ensure the learning environment and teaching style are compatible with your needs and goals.

Make application to the state to take the Life Insurance license exam and ensure you are on the list for the next scheduled testing. Be prepared and be on time; many states will not admit tardy applicants and will force them to reapply.

Tips & Warnings

Many large life insurance companies offer internship and other programs to aspiring agents. These programs often expedite the licensing process and open doors to long-term employment opportunities. A strong customer service and/or sales background are often considered by hiring life insurance companies in lieu of a college degree.