BALTIMORE - The Maryland Insurance Administration is participating in an apprenticeship program designed to attract much-needed talent to the insurance industry.
The driving force behind the new program is Invest, which is affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (The Big I) and has a mission is to educate, prepare and attract diverse new talent to the insurance industry. This year, Invest is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is now working with 31,000 students in 46 states through a national program that educates high school and community college students on insurance, financial services and risk management topics, and encourages them to pursue a variety of careers in the insurance industry.
The apprenticeship program, which is slated to begin in Maryland this September, will allow high school students to work at insurance companies and agencies to gain valuable experience in the industry. The program is still in development but was approved in November 2019 by the U.S. Department of Labor.
“It’s a chance to introduce young people to the insurance industry – and not just in a classroom but in the real world through a real job,” said Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. “We’re excited by the possibilities.”
Dr. David Ring joined the Maryland Insurance Administration last October to implement innovative, talent-building programs, like the Invest partnership. He is a former teacher, principal and, most recently, Delaware superintendent of schools.
“This is an industry where you can begin your career out of high school or you can choose to continue on to college through two-year and four-year programs,” Ring said. “When we talk to students, we tell them that the insurance industry provides viable career pathways.”
Jobs are plentiful in the industry, and the demand for talent is likely to increase. Here are some facts from the Big I:
- An estimated 60 percent of the insurance industry will be retiring within the next seven years.
- The industry employs 2.2 million people, with 400,000 new jobs expected by 2028.
- Because of the increasing demand for talent, entry-level salaries are very competitive.
“It’s not unusual for employers in this industry to do everything they can to attract and retain talented people, including paying for education,” he said. “That’s why it’s important for us to match students with employers.”
Although the Invest apprenticeship program is new to Maryland, apprenticeships are slowly beginning to scale up industry-wide. The scope and sequence of an apprenticeship program can be tailored to the needs of the industry and agencies.
In addition, insurance-specific college programs are cropping up across the country, including at the University of Baltimore. On the advice of the Maryland Insurance Administration, the university’s Merrick School of Business added a Risk Management and Insurance specialization to its B.S. in Business Administration program in 2019.
Ring is currently working with 14 Maryland school systems. The work includes introduction meetings, information about careers in the industry, and presentations provided by Invest and the University of Baltimore.
About the Maryland Insurance Administration
The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin, Twitter at @MD_Insurance, LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/maryland-insurance-administration or Instagram at @marylandinsuranceadmin.