How to Become an Underwriter

What To Do Now? Underwriter Career Training

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Are you a detail-oriented, analytical person who enjoys assessing risk/benefit scenarios? Do you like working with people and are you good with customer service? Can you work with policy and regulations? If so, retraining as an insurance underwriter can help you obtain the skills you need for a new career. Online underwriting training courses provide a convenient option to advance in this field.

What Career Skills Do Underwriters Need?

Underwriters act as middlemen between consumers buying insurance coverage and insurance companies. The ability to communicate effectively is desirable for this profession, because underwriters meet with prospective customers and listen to their needs. Underwriters also look at data (sometimes gathered from an interview or retrieved from the Internet) and make assessments and determine a consumer's eligibility and amount the insurance company can charge for the premium. They review policies, and make sure to find one that's the best fit for the customer while still bringing profits to the insurance company. In a growing economy, insurance underwriters need to have well-formed career skills including computer skills because computer programs are often used for data analysis in this field.

There are many types of insurance--health, automobile, property, life, and more. Underwriters might be generalists or specialize in one of these areas. Typically, an underwriter works for an insurance agency and can specialize in individual or group policies.

Career Advice About Underwriting

How can you improve your skills to become an underwriter? Usually, a college education, preferably in business administration, finance, or accounting is necessary to enter this field. Online underwriting training courses are one way to help you retrain through knowledge-rich classes. It's also important that you have some experience or training in computer skills.

Career Outlook

  • Underwriter Employment Outlook. The federal government predicts that job opportunities will favor candidates with finance training, computer software and communication skills
  • Entry-Level and Beyond. New graduates typically take first jobs as underwriter trainees or assistant underwriters. Ongoing education may be required for advancement in the field
  • Specialization in the Field. Underwriters may specialize in either commercial or personal insurance and focus on a particular insured risk including homeowner, automobile, marine, workers' compensation, and disaster or liability insurance
  • Where the Jobs Are. Some 65 percent of professional underwriters work for insurance carriers, followed by insurance agencies, real estate companies, banks, and mortgage companies
  • Median Annual Salary. In May 2013, the insurance underwriters earned a median annual salary of $70,110 with top 10% making more than $111,750.
  • States with Highest Employment. California, New York, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania.
  • Top Paying States. New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Washington, California.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Insurance Underwriters
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Insurance Underwriters, May 2013 Wages