The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

September 26, 2006 07:30 ET

College Grads Overlook Six Figure Success

NEW YORK--(Collegiate Presswire - September 26, 2006) - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that college grads with degrees in finance can only expect an average starting income under $50,000 as many first-time job seekers flood Wall Street and begin years of crunching numbers in tiny, gray cubicles.

There is a fast track to financial success that leads job seekers down many more profitable and interesting roads, however, and towards an income that could pay well above six figures.

Recent college grad Justin Bennett decided not to pursue Wall Street, and one year into his career Forbes.com had already dubbed him a "rising leader" and at age 24 he was named 2005 New Agent of the Year at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

"No one had even proposed this to me as a career when I was looking, none of my friends heading to Wall Street knew about it--but it was nice to graduate and immediately have dollars and cents in my pocket and a solid plan for my future," said Bennett.

There are tremendous opportunities for recent college grads to begin climbing into the ranks of the top 1,000 Guardian financial representatives who according to a recent survey earn on average more than $200,000 dollars annually.

It's a powerful paycheck compared to the average offers college grads were seeing this summer, according to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers survey that found economics and finance degree graduates were being offered an average annual salary of $45,058.

"It seemed at first like being a financial advisor would be boring, but the entrepreneurship and mentoring opportunities actually make it exciting for Gen X and Gen Y graduates to come in here, and be very happy and very comfortable," Bennett said. "And you don't have to go-it alone, there is a tremendous mentor, protege relationship that helps pave the way to success."

A large number of agents will retire over the next five years, but employment in the insurance sales industry is only expected to grow from 0-8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, whose current Occupational Outlook report says "opportunities will be favorable for college graduates who have sales ability and excellent interpersonal skills."

Financial representatives make their own hours to fit their lives and still earn a significant six-figure income that can continue to grow as much as they want. A 2005 Guardian Life survey reported that it's top 10 financial representatives averaged $1,250,657 in salary, incentive compensation and commissions. The top 100 representatives received an average of $600,054. One third of its 3,045 representatives were earning more than $200,000.

Dennis Manning, CEO of Guardian Life said he constantly sees the surprise among Guardian's ranks of recent college grads when they first start seeing the fruits of their labor.

"At Guardian, you can earn your way to the CEO's office. I did," said Manning. "At some companies, representatives are driven solely to meet quotas; at Guardian you work with clients on financial protection and wealth building opportunities as you build a business for yourself."

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