Insurance Underwriter
How to Become an

Insurance Underwriter

The complete career guide to be an Insurance Underwriter: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $72,650
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -11.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

Insurance writers utilize computer applications to assess the risk factor in insurance proposals, establish policy procedures and calculate the premium on basis of statistical and background information.

Recommended Schools

What is an Insurance Underwriter?


The duties of an insurance underwriter include the following:

  • Develop and maintain good partnerships with clients by notifying them when new products emerge, connecting with them regarding opportunities for improvement and giving them an explanation regarding underwriting decisions made.
  • Take stock of and improve the existing marketing plan to enhance business potential – this involves in-person meetings, dissemination of marketing materials on behalf of insurance company partners.
  • Keep track of important metrics like renewal retention rates, loss ratio, business hit ratio, etc. and establish corrective action for when applicable.
  • Evaluate key reports and documents for the underwriting process like building costs, motor vehicle and inspection logs, etc.

Day In The Life

As an insurance underwriter, you are responsible for deciding whether or not insurance will be provided for a specific case and what the terms were.  It is up to you to make a smart choice and decide on a balanced approach between too conservative and excessively liberal policies. These are vital decisions since insurance companies have to plan for billions in risk every year – if policies are very orthodox, there is a potential for loss while very generous packages require companies to foot excess claims.

In this role, you can choose to hone your expertise in areas like auto, homeowners, marine, health, mortgage, life property and casualty. Commercial and personal policies are the area of specialisation for most property or casualty insurance underwriters. If you are offering package policies, you would be well-versed with all the types.

Work Schedule

Insurance underwriters’ work is mostly office-based and therefore they typically work full-time with a standard working schedule of 40 hours per week. Insurance underwriters rarely have to work longer hours, on evenings or on vacations because of the nature of the profession itself. However, sometimes depending on the client or whatever to be insured that needs assessing, the insurance underwriter may have to travel if the risk has to be evaluated somewhere else. It is however, highly crucial for an insurance underwriter to meet his specified time-frames because of the scale of risk associated.

Projected Job Growth

The demand for this job is expected to decline in the coming decade by at least 6% between 2019 and 2029. The reason for the decline is the recent technological advances that lead to the automation of many of the typical insurance underwriter tasks. These advances made it easier to analyze and assess any potential client, analyze his data and reach a decision. This will only make it essential for an insurance underwriter to master his analytical skills and computer background because the underwriting software will need to be reviewed and updated periodically. This makes the job market for job highly competitive and challenging. Graduates may find significant difficulty in starting their career in this field. Therefore, achieving a good prospect will require in addition to the finance and mathematical degrees, improving the analytical, computer and interpersonal and negotiation skills to secure an edge in this field.

Typical Employers

Insurance underwriting can be considered as more specialization for underwriters focusing on providing insurance services that depend heavily on risk assessment. The most available employers will be insurance agencies providing various insurance service as house, commercial or life insurance. Other employers may include banks that provide some sort of insurance services and loans. You will have to utilize his skills in assessing, evaluating and deciding on the client’s risk to create financial profilers for any potential client. Some Insurance underwriters will prefer to work independently as consultants to businesses and insurance companies, however this will require solid experience and connections in order to establish himself in the field.

Recommended Schools

How To Become an Insurance Underwriter

As an insurance underwriter, you would require a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, economics, mathematics or another relevant field. You can also acquire the appropriate skills through a number of internships and summer employment. Many start out in this career path as trainees or apprentices under the direction of senior underwriters. As a trainee that is working alongside seasoned underwriters, you are expected to learn central concepts regarding underwriting policies, procedures, and related techniques.

Trainees work on basic applications and learn the most common risk factors. Tax laws can be quite complex and a solid knowledge of insurance-related regulations or policies is essential to succeed in this field. To advance to more senior positions, it is recommended that you eventually complete a master’s degree, e.g. MBS in Finance or Accounting.

This career path is a great fit for individuals that thrive on high attention to detail, data analysis and facts assessment. You must also demonstrate good judgement and integrity to work for an insurance company with an objective demeanor. Gaining a certification is often necessary to advance to more senior positions such as senior underwriter, underwriter manager, etc.

Insurance Underwriter Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Insurance Underwriter salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Insurance Underwriter's can make an average annual salary of $72,650, or $35 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $49,290 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #180 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Insurance Underwriters

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 7.8%   Masters
  • 45.7%   Bachelors
  • 7.4%   Associates
  • 22%   College
  • 15%   High School
  • 0.3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Insurance Underwriter job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -11,800 jobs for a total of 91,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -11.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #753 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Insurance Underwriters

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers 48,400 -8,900 -9%
Insurance agencies and brokerages 14,200 -800 -1%
Direct health and medical insurance carriers 6,700 1,100 1%

Want To Be an Insurance Underwriter? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →