USA Career Guide- Insurance Underwriters

Education needed to be Insurance Underwriters

A bachelor's degree is required for most insurance underwriter positions. A degree in finance, economics, math, or business may give you a leg up on the competition, but you will find people from many academic backgrounds in this occupation.


To advance into more senior positions, certification is required. There are many certifications available, depending on the amount of work experience you have and the type of insurance you want to work with.

Available certification options are:
  • For beginner underwriters, the Insurance Institute of America offers a training program. The Institute also offers two special designations:
    - Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU)
    - Associate in Personal Insurance (API)

  • The American College also offers an introductory course in basic insurance concepts:
    - The Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF)
    - Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
    - Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designation

For underwriters with at least three years of insurance experience, the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters offers the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation (CPCU)

Job Prospects of Insurance Underwriters

As reported by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program employment of underwriters is expected to increase 6 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. New types of automated underwriting software allow workers to process applications more quickly than before, reducing the need for underwriters.

Job opportunities should be best for those with a background in finance, and strong computer and communication skills.

Pay of Insurance Underwriters

The median annual wage of insurance underwriters was $59,290 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,700, and the top 10 percent earned more than $102,540.

Industrial Overview of Insurance Underwriters

Insurance underwriters held about 101,800 jobs in 2010. Industry wise Employment of Insurance Underwriters (2010)
  • Insurance carriers

  • Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance related activities

  • Credit intermediation and related activities

  • Management of companies and enterprises
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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