Insurance allows businesses and individuals to guard against the financial burden of unexpected expenses and loses. Underwriters are financial professionals that decide whether prospective clients of insurance companies should be granted insurance coverage, and create the terms of the coverage. Underwriters choose how much to charge for insurance based on the risks that clients present.
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Average and Median Income
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that underwriting jobs at large companies typically require a bachelor's degree and previous experience in the insurance industry. Workers may have to participate in continuing education to advance in the field. The bureau reported that underwriters nationwide earned a mean annual income of $65,220 as of May 2010. This income level translates to an hourly income of $31.35. The median income for the occupation was $59,290.
Income can vary considerably within a given profession based on factors like years of experience and education. Entry-level workers tend to start toward the bottom of the income range for a given occupation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that
the bottom 10 percent of underwriters in terms of income earned made $36,700 or less, while the top 10 percent made $102,540 or more. Half of all workers in the field earned between $45,650 and $79,790.
Most underwriters work for insurance carriers. According to the report by the statistics bureau, insurance carriers employed over 65,000 underwriters as of May 2010, where they earned $66,310 on average. Underwriters working for insurances brokerages, agencies and related companies earned somewhat less, at $62,210 on average.
Top States and Metro Areas
Income earned in a given occupation can vary depending on where major employers are located. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the top paying states for underwriters as of May 2010 were Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Utah. Workers in these states earned average incomes of $70,000 or more. Underwriters in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area of Connecticut earned average incomes of $90,550, the most of any metro area in the nation. Workers in the New York City area came in second with average incomes of $84,810.