Insurance Agents and Brokers

Occupation:Insurance Agents and Brokers
Category:Sales and Service

About the job

Nature of work:

Insurance agents and brokers sell life, automobile, property, health and other types of insurance to individuals, businesses and public institutions. Insurance agents are employed by individual insurance companies or are independent representatives of specific insurance companies. Insurance brokers are employed by brokerage firms, or may work in partnerships or hold sole proprietorship. Supervisors of insurance agents are included in this group.

Job duties:
Insurance agents and brokers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Sell automobile, fire, health, life, property, marine, aircraft and other types of insurance to clients.
  • Establish client insurance coverage, calculate premiums and establish method of payment.
  • Provide information concerning group and individual insurance packages, the range of risk coverage, benefits paid and other policy features.
  • Ensure appropriate forms, medical examinations and other policy requirements are completed.
  • Monitor insurance claims and respond to clients' enquiries.
  • Identify and solicit potential clientele.
Sample job titles:
  • automobile insurance agent
  • general insurance representative
  • group insurance representative
  • insurance agent
  • insurance broker
  • insurance sales representative
  • insurance sales supervisor
  • life insurance agent

To work in this field you need excellent communication and negotiation skills. The ability to analyze complex information accurately and quickly is necessary for decision-making. Computer skills would be a definite asset.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • On-the-job training and insurance industry courses and training programs are provided and are required for employment.
  • Licensure by the insurance governing body in the province or territory of employment is required.
Other considerations:

Progression to insurance management positions is possible through experience. Completion of educational programs through the Insurance Institute of Canada or its provincial counterpart entitles agents to professional recognition as an Associate of the Insurance Institute of Canada (A.I.I.C.) or Fellow of the Insurance Institute of Canada (F.I.I.C.). Completion of educational courses through the Canadian Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors allows for various levels of professional designations for insurance and financial advisors.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Insurance Agents and Brokers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 72% of Insurance Agents and Brokers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $45,517. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Insurance Agents and Brokers1,670Moderate growth260Low
Minimum: $12.75
Median: $20.19
Maximum: $28.85
Minimum: $10,504
Median: $40,567
Maximum: $93,318
Occupations in Sales and Service102,605Decline slightly5,260Moderate
Minimum: $10.70
Median: $12.50
Maximum: $21.17
Minimum: $2,949
Median: $16,629
Maximum: $45,086
Insurance Agents and BrokersCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
Percent employed full-time92%59%
Percent self-employed10%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentInsurance Agents and BrokersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton9%$35,53513%$32,974
Annapolis Valley11%$41,34313%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeInsurance Agents and BrokersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4437
GenderInsurance Agents and BrokersCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
EducationInsurance Agents and BrokersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school2.3%$18,80218.8%$9,486
High school27.4%$36,99140.4%$12,982
Trades certificate6.8%$34,8578.0%$18,797
College certificate or diploma33.0%$38,26019.9%$19,514
University certificate or diploma4.6%$43,1231.6%$18,279
Bachelor's degree23.6%$41,89110.0%$20,807
University advanced certificate or diploma0.6%$50,7350.5%$15,716
Master's degreeN/A$37,5310.8%$20,769
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$17,368
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Insurance Agent
Right to Title and Practice:This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Finance - Office of the Superintendent of Insurance
PO Box 2271
Halifax, NS B3J 3C8
(902) 424-6331
(902) 424-1298
Useful contacts:
Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 876-0526
Fax: (902) 876-0527
Insurance Institute of Nova Scotia
250 Baker Drive Suite 220
Dartmouth, NS B2W 6L4
Tel: (902) 433-0070
Fax: (902) 433-0072

Training Paths & Education

There is no information to display in this section
Additional resources: