NPRC partnership could boost number of agents

The Northern Pennsylvania Regional College is collaborating with the National Association of Insurance Professionals Inc. to launch a virtual insurance agent training program.

The introductory session on the virtual insurance agent training program will begin on Monday, April 29.

The seven-week program addresses the skills gap affecting employment prospects across Pennsylvania. The partnership aims to guide participants to gain necessary soft skills, workplace proficiencies and industry credentials, crucial for forging successful careers in the insurance and financial services industries.

Ron Harden, NAIP’s founder and executive director, said the program was a potential solution to the national shortage of skilled talent in the insurance and financial services sector. With Pennsylvania being home to various Fortune 500 companies such as Lincoln Financial Group, Erie Insurance Group and PNC Financial Services, program graduates stand poised to seize entry-level positions within these and many other esteemed organizations throughout the commonwealth.

During the seven-week training program, learners will receive a thorough education on the topics necessary for Occupational Licensing and Credentialing exams in Property and Casualty insurance as well as Life, Accident and Health insurance. They will also earn a Help Desk Professional designation during the program.

Additional skills students will develop during this program include sales and marketing basics to find new customers and provide insurance literacy; preparation and presentation of quotes for auto, home, business and life insurance; and the claims handling process — which includes how to enter claim information and practical knowledge for walking a customer through the process.

The program also offers participants a unique opportunity to earn a weekly stipend while working to become a capable financial and insurance professional. Program completers will leave being equipped for roles in banks, credit unions, call centers and insurance agencies. These students will also have the chance to pursue NAIP’s apprenticeship program, additional education at NPRC in business administration or become an entrepreneur as a licensed insurance professional.

The Department of Labor expects an annual need for 1,850 insurance sales agents in Pennsylvania alone and the average entry-level wage for professionals in the field is currently between $30,700 and $42,600. Across the United States, the median salary for insurance agents is $57,860.

“NPRC is excited to partner for this program in collaboration with The National Association for Insurance Professionals. This is a high demand career that offers students the chance to receive industry-recognized licensure,” said NPRC Director of Workforce Development Andrea Kessler. “Graduates have options to continue their career growth between continuing in an insurance-focused apprenticeship or earning an associate degree at NPRC. This makes the insurance agent course valuable to not only the students and our local communities but also the insurance and financial industries.”

To qualify for the program, interested participants must be at least 17 years of age and fluent in English. A high school diploma or GED is preferred, but not required for the program.

Classes will meet virtually from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost of the program is $5,995 and covers tuition, books, lab fees, state testing fees, licensing application and fingerprint fees.

CareerLink and additional funds are also available to aid those wanting to pursue this program. For those considering participating in the program, visit NPRC’s Insurance Agent Training webpage for more information and to join the waitlist — visit https://regionalcollegepa.org.


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