Career Advice on How to Become An Insurance Underwriter

General Career Information

Pro baseball player, ballerina, astronaut, and insurance underwriter: these are just a few of the occupations people dreamed of having as children.  With a little strength of will, spirit and determination, you can live those childhood dreams.  Whether its hitting that 500th homerun or being the first person to fake stepping on Mars, if you can perceive it you can achieve it.  Of course, the same holds true for the insurance underwriter.  While many might feel that this job is out of their reach, with enough tenacity and dedication it can be done.  You can become an insurance underwriter.

Insurance underwriters are the cheery people that evaluate people, places and things and determine the risk assessed to insuring them.  They calculate whether or not you are too much of a health risk, for example, because of any one of thousands of factors.  If they decide you are a health risk, they might just drop you altogether. 

Career Facts:

Much of the enormous fun of being an insurance underwriter is that one gets to use tons of computers and analytic software (and we all know how much fun analytic software is) to determine whether or not someone is too much of a risk.  For health insurance, an insurance underwriter will take in a vast amount of data to determine whether or not a person is a “liability,” which is fancy talk for “this guy might actually costs us money.”  If you fall into the “this guy might cost us some money” category, well you might be dropped.

Insurance underwriters will also specialize in different areas such as health or mortgage insurance.  Not surprisingly, each of these specializations comes with a wide-variety of different concerns and ways of calculating risks.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Poor:

The expected rate of job growth between now and 2018 is expected to be about four percent, and this contrasts with the national average for all jobs of about ten percent.  Technology and automation will help keep the job outlook for insurance underwriters on the lower end.   You definitely should factor this information into both your career planning as well as your job search.
Job Outlook is Poor

A Day in The Life:

Being an insurance underwriter requires about as much physical activity as being a Twinkie in a wrapper, as insurance underwriters are remarkably sedentary creatures that have been known to recoil from the light.  Strapped to their desk, they are often given a high calorie, high fat treat every time they manage to save employers a little of that precious, precious money.

Average Salary:

As of 2008, the average (if there is such a thing) insurance underwriter earned about $56,000.  The top insurance underwriters, the ones that really know how to keep the money in the bank, can earn around $100,000.



Career Training and Qualifications:

Most companies like to hire college graduates with degrees relating in some fashion to business or finance.  Degrees in accounting or law are also attractive.
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