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Insurance Agent/Broker

Insurance agents and brokers assess people’s financial needs and advise them on how to protect themselves against financial loss. They may sell life, property, casualty, automobile, or health insurance policies to individuals, businesses, or public institutions.

Also Known As

Account Manager, Broker, Group Benefits Representative, Life Insurance Agent, Property Insurance Agent, Salesperson

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Insurance Agents and Brokers (6231) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Insurance Agents and Brokers (G131) 
  • 2011 NOC: Insurance agents and brokers (6231) 
  • 2016 NOC: Insurance agents and brokers (6231) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Insurance Agents and Brokers

2006 NOC: 6231

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to ensure appropriate forms, medical examinations and other policy requirements are completed; and to identify potential clientele

SOCIAL

Interest in persuading to solicit potential clientele and to sell automobile, fire, health, property, marine, aircraft and other types of insurance to clients

directive

Interest in monitoring insurance claims and in responding to clients' enquiries

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 12, 2022

Insurance agents represent their clients to insurance companies, either as employees or as independent representatives. They may work on contract with more than one company.

Insurance brokers represent their clients as an intermediary. They typically work under contract to multiple insurance companies or a managing general agency. They place policies directly with whichever company can best serve the needs of individual clients.

Depending on the licence they hold, insurance agents and brokers may sell:

  • Property / casualty insurance policies: This includes automobile policies. They protect against financial loss from damage, theft, or liability lawsuits. They may be personal or commercial policies.
  • Life insurance policies: They provide payment to survivors (beneficiaries) when the person whose life is insured dies. These policies can be designed to provide retirement income, educational funds for surviving children, and other benefits.

Some agents and brokers sell specialized types of insurance such as:

  • Travel insurance
  • Marine insurance
  • Farm and crop insurance
  • Accident, extended health care, or dental insurance

Insurance agents and brokers:

  • Develop clientele by generating lists of prospects (people who may need risk management information and insurance products)
  • Meet with clients to discuss their needs
  • Design coverage to suit clients’ needs
  • Keep in touch with clients to help them keep their insurance programs up to date
  • Monitor insurance claims resulting from property damage or a death in the family
  • Attend meetings, seminars, and programs to keep up to date and learn new skills

Property / casualty insurance agents or brokers may also inspect property to decide if it fits company underwriting standards. They determine its general condition, type of construction, age, and other characteristics.

For information about duties and responsibilities related to financial planning, see the Financial Planner occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 12, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Hours of work vary. Agents and brokers may work evenings and weekends prospecting clients, making calls, or catching up on paperwork. They may need to work overtime in the event of natural disaster or other large-scale catastrophe.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 12, 2022

Insurance agents and brokers need:

  • An enthusiastic attitude when faced with disappointing sales and clients who say no
  • Basic numeracy
  • Good business judgment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • The ability to work alone
  • The ability to maintain a good credit score
  • Moral principle to avoid committing financial crimes
  • Genuine interest in helping people protect their possessions and achieve their financial goals
  • Willingness to keep up to date with tax laws, amendments to pension and benefit plans, and other changes
  • Willingness to continue professional education as mandated by provincial legislation
  • Attention to details that satisfy client needs

They should enjoy:

  • Compiling information
  • Taking a methodical approach to their work
  • Persuading and working with people
  • Making decisions

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Insurance agents and brokers

2011 NOC: 6231

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 45 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 28, 2021 and Sep 23, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Insurance Experience: Property/casualty insurance
Establish client insurance coverage, calculate premiums and establish method of payment
Insurance Experience: Automobile insurance
Provide information concerning group and individual insurance packages, the range of risk coverage, benefits paid and other policy features
Insurance Experience: House insurance
Insurance Experience: Personal
Insurance Experience: Commercial insurance
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 12, 2022
  • Minimum Education Varies

Most employers require applicants to have at least a high school diploma. However, the insurance business is very competitive. Many agents and brokers have post-secondary education. Some agents and brokers learn the basics on the job before taking the courses and examinations required for licensure or professional designation.

The Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) maintains a list of approved educators. These education providers offer courses to prepare students for the licensure examinations. Visit the AIC website for details.

Before enrolling in an education program, prospective agents and brokers should discuss their training options with potential employers.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Brooks
Academy of Learning - Calgary Central
Academy of Learning - Calgary NE
Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown
Academy of Learning - Edmonton South
Academy of Learning - Edmonton West
Academy of Learning - High River
Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat
Academy of Learning - Red Deer
Academy of Learning Airdrie

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 12, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Insurance Agent

Insurance agents assess people’s financial needs and advise them on how to protect themselves against financial loss. They may represent insurance companies directly or as independent representatives. They sell life, property, casualty, automobile, or health insurance policies to individuals, businesses, or public institutions.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Insurance Act [pdf] and Insurance Agents and Adjusters Regulation [pdf], you must be licensed by the Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) to sell insurance in Alberta.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Insurance Agent.

Additional Information

Insurance agents and brokers can also pursue professional designation outside the legislated requirement for licensing. These include:

  • Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), Advanced CIP, and Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) offered by the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC)
  • Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB), Canadian Professional Insurance Broker (CPIB), and Canadian Certified Insurance Broker (CCIB) offered by the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta (IBAA)

For more information on training programs and certification requirements, visit the organization’s website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 12, 2022

Insurance agents and brokers work for:

  • General insurance companies
  • Brokerage firms
  • Independent insurance agencies
  • Financial planning firms
  • Wealth management firms

Summer employment can be a good way to gain practical experience. Insurance companies interview students on some college and university campuses. Interested individuals can also set up their own appointments to discuss opportunities with local insurance company managers. Job applicants may be asked to complete screening questionnaires or attend further interviews.

Some companies prefer new hires with a network of potential people who can become customers in the agent’s first year in business.

Experienced, successful insurance agents and brokers may move into supervisory and management positions. They may also move into head office jobs in administration, training, underwriting, sales promotion, or branch management.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6231: Insurance agents and brokers occupational group, 98.6% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6231: Insurance agents and brokers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 98 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 12, 2022

Insurance agents and brokers may be paid a salary, work on a commission basis, or earn a combination of both. Incomes vary a lot depending on:

  • The employer
  • The employee’s abilities and educational background
  • The geographic area
  • The individual’s responsibilities

Some newly hired agents and brokers are paid a base salary and look after existing client accounts. To encourage them to find new clients, they often also receive a percentage of commissions on any new business they attract.

Some agents work on a full commission basis immediately, although most choose to receive a salary for 6 months or longer while they establish a client base.

Most agents and brokers pay their own car and travel expenses. Those that operate their own businesses will also pay other overhead expenses such as office rent and staff salaries.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Insurance agents and brokers

2016 NOC: 6231
Average Wage
$35.55
Per Hour
Average Salary
$66,734.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6231 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.83 $43.20 $25.82 $24.40
Overall $19.38 $59.60 $35.55 $31.11
Top $23.74 $109.72 $50.13 $36.90

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
59%
59%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
40%
40%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
8%
8%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 12, 2022

Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada website: myadvocis.ca

Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) website: www.abcouncil.ab.ca

Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta (IBAA) website: www.ibaa.ca

Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC) website: www.insuranceinstitute.ca

IIC, Career Connections website: www.career-connections.info

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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