The financial industry can be an exciting and fast-paced career path. Because of the complexity of financial instruments and markets, most employees in the industry are required to pass a licensing exam administered by FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Several careers are available for those with Series 6 licenses.
The Series 6 exam is formally know as the Investment Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Qualifications Exam. It consists of 100 questions about mutual funds, variable annuities, insurance products, investments policies, securities markets, federal regulations and customer account maintenance. The exam is multiple-choice and has a maximum allotted test time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. To pass the exam, testers must answer 70 percent of the questions correctly.
The Series 6 exam qualifies individuals for sales positions in a mutual fund or insurance industry. Individuals who pass the Series 6 are certified to sell and open customer accounts for variable annuities, mutual fund shares, retirement plans and other insurance-related products. The Series 6 does not qualify an individual to sell stocks, bonds, or options. Series 7 and 24 licenses are required for those.
Those with Series 6 licenses can become financial advisers. They provide investment advice, retirement-planning services, and other types of financial advice to individuals, businesses and government agencies. By using financial products, a financial adviser can help his client achieve specific financial goals. Financial advisers typically need licenses such as those required to sell insurance.
A Series 6 license can also lead to a career in insurance and or mutual fund sales. Agents may sell clients a variety of insurance policies, including health, life, disability and property insurance. Because of client demand for a variety of financial services and products, agents increasingly sell mutual funds and annuity investments as well. This generally includes financial, retirement and estate-planning services. In addition to a Series 6 license, sales agents are expected to undergo continuing education and in many cases additional licensing.
2016 Salary Information for Insurance Sales Agents
Insurance sales agents earned a median annual salary of $49,990 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, insurance sales agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,500, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $77,140, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 501,400 people were employed in the U.S. as insurance sales agents.