Opportunity for growth and variety: Insurance internships


As college graduates search for internships, there are many options to consider. One option is an insurance internship. The insurance industry is hiring and should continue for the foreseeable future.

The growth in the industry is due to several factors.  First, the workforce is aging.  By 2018, more than a quarter of the workforce will be above the age of 55.  This situation is great for college graduates looking to start their career, because most companies have many experienced professionals who can mentor young employees.  In addition, those aging employees will be retiring and their leadership positions will open up. The opportunity for growth is there if a recent college grad wants to find a place in the insurance industry and stay for their entire career.

If you like interacting with people, the insurance industry provides the opportunity to play a critical role in many business owners’ lives. You would help those business owners determine what risks they actually face and then negotiating how best to protect their business can be a juggling act. This will allow you to be able to interact with many businesses from many different industries that allow each day to be different in some way shape or form.

Do insurance companies typically expect entry-level hires to have internships?

While it’s typically not required for entry-level employees to have had an insurance internship, it is something many companies really appreciate. Through an internship, you will learn appropriate workplace interpersonal skills, which is key. You can build these skills through an internship in any industry, or through volunteer work. Volunteering at hospitals, social organizations, fraternities or sororities, or fundraising for a cause are all activities places where you can develop the skills you will need to succeed in the insurance industry.

Insurance companies need people with a variety of skills backgrounds. If you have strong communication, social media or coding skills, you are an asset. Graduates who majored in Information Technology can help companies build and maintain websites.  Graduates of marketing or communication studies can help companies write for and promote those websites.  Graduates with a background in Human Resources can help all of these companies find this diverse workforce.

What are some skills that an intern will build that can prepare them for a career in this field? 

A successful insurance agent will routinely work with 15-20 clients in a day.  As an intern or entry-level employee, you will learn to move from each situation quickly, pay close attention to details and be a master manager of your time. You will build computer skills that you not yet have, such as determining quotes, and navigating quickly-changing internal computer programs. In addition, organizational skills are equally important to anyone looking for long term success in the insurance industry.

What certification should an intern expect to need?

If you get a proper license for whatever products you plan to sell (Property and Casualty, life, health or workers compensation insurance), that shows excellent initiative to the company you want to work for.  It is not always required, and most insurance companies provide hands-on training.  After years of developing in the industry, you will likely want to get certified in the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Certification.  This is a professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management.  To achieve this certification you would complete a number of courses covering topics like insurance law, history, contracts, operations, rate making and risk management just to name a few.

What is a fair starting salary? 

Most entry level employees can expect to earn $30,000 to $50,000.  Many companies offer sales agents the option of being a salaried W-2 employee or being a 1099 independent contractor.  Going the independent contractor route can cause an agent to make less in the beginning, but can be beneficial as the agent gathers a large book of business.


Walt Capell, insurance industryAbout Walt Capell: Walt started Workers Compensation Shop.com in 2005. Workers Compensation Shop.com is a rapidly growing national insurance agency with a strong reputation for forward-thinking, out-of-the-box products and solutions for business owners. Walt would like to use his experience as a small business owner and insurance expert to benefit the next generation of leaders.

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