According to an industry trend report, 63 percent of insurance companies plan to increase their staff sizes in the next 12 months. By 2020, there are projected to be nearly 400,000 open positions in the insurance industry. The high number of openings — coupled with the fact that only about a third of all millennials have any interest in working in the industry — means there has never been a better time to consider a career in insurance.
February is recognized throughout the industry as Insurance Careers Month, a chance for insurance companies to showcase the benefits of a career in the field. In light of the low levels of interest in insurance careers among young talent, now might be a good time to survey some of those benefits:
1. Jobs for All Professionals of All Backgrounds
One of the most appealing parts of working for an insurance company is the wide variety of jobs that are available across a very broad spectrum of career paths. For instance, an insurance company usually employs people in all the following areas:
Accounting and finance
Marketing and communications
Medical (including clinical)
Professionals in virtually any function can also advance in the field to key management and executive-level positions. Regardless of your career path, there is a strong likelihood there’s a job opportunity for you in insurance. Better yet, the compensation for jobs in the insurance industry often exceeds that of other entry-level jobs, with an average starting salary of more than $50,000 per year.
2. Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Individuals of all backgrounds, languages, and economies need insurance. Because of this, professionals in the insurance industry often serve and work with a broad spectrum of people from across social groups.
The insurance industry not only provides products and services to meet the needs of diverse people, but its top employers also strive to cultivate very diverse workforces. In 2018, 69 percent of insurance executives felt diversity and inclusion were important issues.
3. Access to Professional Development Opportunities
One advantage of working for an insurance company is the high level of training and professional development companies in the field offer. You can expect to be thoroughly trained in all areas of insurance when you work at an insurance company. Topics your training may cover include understanding and administering Medicare benefits, understanding state health care regulations, and even learning some medical coding and billing practices, depending on your specific role. Professional development is a priority in the industry, and you can expect to participate in continuing education, professional seminars and workshops, and other opportunities for growth within your role and the insurance field in general.
4. Flexible Scheduling
Working from home is an option for many in the insurance field. Insurance agents in particular tend to have a lot of control over their own work schedules. As freelancing and independent contracting grow in popularity, the insurance industry will only become even more responsive to workers’ demands for flexibility and work/life balance.
5. A Strong Sense of Purpose
The insurance industry prides itself on being purpose-driven, and insurance professionals strive to make positive impacts on the individuals and communities they serve. In fact, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes and facilitates the charitable work of insurance organizations, has distributed more than $31 million in community grants and helped to arrange more than 300,000 volunteer hours by more than 110,000 insurance industry professionals since it was established 25 years ago.
This high level of charitable giving makes sense, given that the core goal of the insurance industry is to help people live better, healthier, safer lives. If you want a career that makes a difference, you would be hard-pressed to find a better industry for it than the insurance industry.
Michael Z. Stahl is executive vice president of HealthMarkets.
Michael Z. Stahl serves as executive vice president of HealthMarkets, one of the nation’s largest independent insurance agencies in the medicare; individual; and supplemental health, life, and small group insurance markets. He has a BS in economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and holds the chartered property casualty underwriter (CPCU), associate in insurance accounting and finance (AIAF), and associate in reinsurance (ARe) certifications. An avid Kansas City Royals fan, Michael lives in Dallas with his wife and children.