General Insurance Broker Jobs

Insurance brokers have an important and very responsible function, helping clients to obtain various types of insurance coverage. The definition of an insurance broker is technically different from an insurance agent, in that brokers work on behalf of the client, rather than the insurance company. However, today these lines are somewhat blurred and insurance agents are sometimes called brokers, particularly if they have access to multiple carriers.

An insurance broker (or agent) must obtain a license from the state in which they intend to sell insurance before they are permitted to engage in business. They must take examinations which are administered by the state under the auspices of the state insurance commissioner. These are standardized tests including insurance concepts, state laws and ethics questions. Study courses are usually required in preparation for the licensing exam, and a student can expect to spend several hundred dollars preparing for and taking the exam.

It is helpful for an aspiring agent to have a college degree, but it is not essential. Agents and brokers must take continuing education to maintain their license; these courses keep the professionals up to date on changing insurance law, new products and more intense study into insurance matters. Working as an insurance broker dictates that the individual be vigilant and professional in all dealings with clients. The brokers hold professional liability coverage on themselves in the event that a loss occurs as a result of their negligence or omission.

A broker may work with clients to obtain auto, home, business, health, life, and other types of insurance. In some ways, being a general insurance broker can be a scalable career because as you can grow your client base. With a large clientèle, you can branch off on your own and start your own business. The more clients you have, the more money you can make.

Duties of General Insurance Brokers

They discuss property and liability coverage, deductibles, policy limits and premium costs with purchasers, explaining the benefits and parameters of the insurance that is being considered. Some general insurance broking jobs may also be licensed as financial consultants, which require additional study and testing. These brokers may offer products such as life insurance which involves making investments in stock and mutual funds. Thus, they must be knowledgeable about laws that pertain to the regulation of investments. They have a high degree of responsibility to prudently take care of their client’s financial interests.

An insurance agent, or broker, usually works on a commission basis, and jobs in this field are plentiful. A broker with their own agency will also own their “book of business” which they can sell when retiring or changing fields. Renewal income helps to make this a lucrative type of sales job.

How to Develop Technical Skills

Gone are the days of unskilled labor, jobs that were purely manual with no technical skills required. Every job, whether in the arts, in construction, or in the office, has been altered by the rapid appearance of new technology designed to enhance productivity. Deftly using a wide range of technology is integrated into almost every job in today’s world.

If you don’t have proficiency in, or even the confidence to learn new technologies, you are limiting your job prospects. With the advent of new technologies, comes a wide range of available help in learning those technologies. Technical institutes offer classes in both the traditional setting and online. In addition to colleges, there are many other options available for learning new skills. Friends, family, mentors, and programs specifically targeting technology skills in the workplace are all sources.

Improving Technical Skills For Your Job

If you have limited resources, the wisest course of action is to invest in the technology itself and seek out inexpensive methods of learning. Owning and using a computer or other piece of technology is the best way to insure proficiency of use. Most businesses run on a Windows platform, so choose a computer using this operating system. Start with learning simple tasks, basic troubleshooting, and efficient Internet use. Beginning courses are available through local libraries and adult continuing education courses offered through a community college.

After mastering the basics, move on to learning office productivity software. Word processing, spreadsheets, and databases needn’t be looked at with fear. Online training tutorials are plentiful and can be learned conveniently at home in your extra time. Courses are offered in the same venues that basic computer skills classes are. If you find yourself really interested in productivity software, advanced classes can lead to certification in the software, giving you a real edge in the job marketplace.

One trick to retaining what you learn is continued practice. Start using word processing for all of your writing. Write letters, copy recipes, and practice! Use spreadsheets to manage the household budget. The more you utilize the software, the more proficient you’ll become.

Have you noticed how many job applications now mention specific technologies or software? Employers are seeking people who have a comfort level with technology that allows them to be flexible in learning new programs and equipment use.

If you have been afraid to learn new technologies, the best course of action is to dive right in and start taking classes. Get free brochures from as many technical institutes as possible and explore your technical learning options. Remember, the more you learn, the more comfortable you will become with technology, and soon you’ll find yourself exploring the latest technology offerings just for fun.

Accounting Careers In High Demand

Accountants are well educated professionals who keep track of numbers while maintaining the financial records of individuals, large and small companies, nonprofit organizations, and government entities.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the 2008 median annual salary for accountants was $59,430 with the top 10% of them earning as much as $102,380. This annual salary is equivalent to an hourly wage of $28.00 to almost $50.00 dollars an hour; seven times the minimum wage. With one million accountants, the profession is always in high demand even in this bad economy and future projections point out to a faster than average growth rate of 16%. has corroborated this data and has confirmed that account executives are always in demand no matter how bad the economy is. In retrospect, a career in accounting is one of the few recession proof jobs left in the country.

Auditing and Tax Accountant Careers

There are countless specialties within all the accounting careers in demand, from auditing and management accounting to budget analysis to the well known “tax accountant”; the options are extraordinarily abundant. The prerequisite to becoming an accountant is a minimum of four years of schooling at an accredited university or college. Most states require that a person be a certified accountant, which some accountants elect not to be because of the cost and the passage of a difficult state exam. The disadvantage to this is less earning power -although there is less coursework and expenses are lower during college. The CPA status is only given to an accountant that have taken and successfully passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination which is difficult to pass. Upon passing the exam, a promotion is almost guaranteed.

Education Needed For Accounting Careers

Various factors need to be considered before commencing an accounting program, especially an online school accounting/CPA program, like the schools that offer an online accounting degree. The top accounting schools requires an extensive academic background along with good entry level scores. The tuition cost varies from school to school but the numbers can be as low as $8,624 to as high as $22,710 per year. As for school ranking- the Public Accounting Report is a good source in selecting the right accounting school and program that suits the individual student.

As in every career, a strong reputation is as important as the degree itself. Becoming certified in the profession – a certified public account (CPA) – brings higher earnings and privileges among the business world. Attaining certification through the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination is the surest path in building this reputation.