Underwriter Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 11 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Underwriter. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Underwriters.

Job Duties

Underwriters work either for an insurance company or for a bank that supplies people with mortgages and loans. They analyze the risk of the prospective client in terms of them repaying their loan or making a claim on their insurance. They also ensure all the data they have received is correct and accurate.

The main role of the underwriter is to make sure that the quality of the products offered to clients is as high as possible, and completely fit for purpose. They must follow numerous rules and regulations to achieve this, starting with the company’s own guidelines and ending with federal laws. They must, therefore, have an in-depth understanding of the industry as a whole, so that they can develop and offer products that are right for everybody.

Other job duties of underwriters include:

  • Analyzing data, business, loss experience, claim history, and the outcome of decisions in relation to liability
  • Submitting, underwriting, pending, or approving coverage premiums and amounts, presenting those findings to managers
  • Ensuring that current policies are up to date and comply with relevant rules and guidelines.
  • Being responsible for certain geographical areas, finding new businesses and clients based on prospective profitability

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 104,100 insurance underwriters in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers: 47%
  • Insurance agencies and brokerages: 19%
  • Other insurance related activities: 6%
  • Direct health and medical insurance carriers: 5%
  • Credit intermediation and related activities: 4%

How to Become

Underwriters usually work in the office and they often work unsociable hours, as insurance companies have extended opening hours. They must be trained to understand specific federal rules and regulations, as well as undergo internal training to have a full understanding of policies and procedures. It is generally expected that underwriters also have an in-depth understanding of FHMLC and FNMA guidelines and programs.

Education Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is usually required for an underwriter, although the major for this degree is less important. It is preferred that candidates have completed finance, business, mathematics, and economics courses. Usually, new underwriters will start as a trainee, being mentored by senior underwriters. They will manage basic applications so that they can gain an understanding of what the common risk factors are. Sometimes, their company will offer further in-house training on underwriting concepts. As they become more experienced, they will start to work independently, handling complex applications.

Usually, further certification is expected for underwriters, but this is delivered in-house. They take part in courses that ensure their knowledge on insurance policies is up to date, and there is also a focus on state and federal laws and regulations, as well as new technology. In order for someone to advance to the position of senior underwriter or underwriter manager, certifications are expected.

One of the most common certifcations is the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), offered by the American Institute for Property and Casualty Underwriters. The Institute also offers training for entry level underwriters. Other designations relevant to insurance specialties also exist, such as the Associate in Personal Insurance (API) and the Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU). It usually takes between one and two years to achieve these certificates.

The Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation is offered through the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. This focuses on basic insurance concepts. The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) certification, meanwhile, is offered by the American College of Financial Services. This is available for those with at least three years’ professional experience.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective underwriters have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent decision making skills
  • Very detail oriented
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent mathematical skills
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Underwriter was $70,387. This number is estimated from over 1,766,224 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $36.66 and monthly of $5,866.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Underwriter salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $91,609 while Nevada had the smallest quoted salary of $26,745.

Alaska Idaho Mississippi Rhode Island
Alabama Illinois North Carolina South Carolina
Arizona Indiana Nebraska South Dakota
California Kansas New Hampshire Tennessee
Colorado Kentucky New Jersey Texas
Connecticut Louisiana New Mexico Utah
DC Massachusetts Nevada Virginia
Delaware Maryland New York Washington
Florida Maine Ohio Wisconsin
Georgia Michigan Oklahoma West Virginia
Hawaii Minnesota Oregon
Iowa Missouri Pennsylvania
Alaska$28,588 Rank: 45th

The average salary ranks 45th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Alaska USA FCU.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$51,000

Salary Distribution
Alabama$64,024 Rank: 30th

The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Alliance, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo, and Diedre Moire.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$73,766 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Liberty Mutual, Contemporary Staffing Solutions, Gould Staffing, and NextStep Recruiting.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
California$81,343 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Management Recruiters of Sacramento, Liberty Mutual, Quest Strategic Advisors, and Absolute Opportunities.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$27,000

$163,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$71,464 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Accounting Career Network, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, Bradley Consulting Group, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$23,000

$145,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$74,341 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Contract Staffing Recruiters, The Hanover Insurance Group, The Hartford Financial Services, and Cigna.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
DC$91,609 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Contemporary Staffing Solutions, CyberCoders, The Hanover Insurance Group, and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$39,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$63,478 Rank: 31st

The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aerotek.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$157,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$58,912 Rank: 35th

The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CE Insurance Services, Inc., The CSI Companies, Freedom Mortgage Corporation, and COMMUNITY BANK.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$163,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$74,405 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CHASE Professionals, FFC Mgt, General Placement Service, and Genesis Resources.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$20,000

$163,000

Salary Distribution
Hawaii$71,579 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and ALTRES Office.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$73,255 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Criterion Executive Search, Diedre Moire, The James Allen Companies, and TheBestIRS, Insurance Recruiting Specialists.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$156,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$62,273 Rank: 32nd

The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$122,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$73,714 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like All About People, Godfrey Personnel, Inc., QuestPro, and Phillips Staffing Solutions.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$20,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$48,134 Rank: 42nd

The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like All About People, CyberCoders, Diedre Moire, and The Hanover Insurance Group.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$109,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$49,359 Rank: 40th

The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Liberty Mutual, Farmers Insurance Group, and Mountain, Ltd.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$135,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$49,026 Rank: 41st

The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Clearleaf Finance.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$103,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$61,991 Rank: 33rd

The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$135,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$74,784 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Davis & Associates, Martin Grant Assoc Inc, The Hanover Insurance Group, and CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$70,796 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aerotek, CyberCoders, General Placement Service, and Questor Consultants, Inc..

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$78,396 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Disability RMS.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$217,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$67,192 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like All About People, CyberCoders, The Hanover Insurance Group, and EanTech Consulting Inc.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$23,000

$133,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$67,436 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SNI Companies, Select QC, CyberCoders, and The Hanover Insurance Group.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$24,000

$132,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$69,629 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Diedre Moire, CyberCoders, Aerotek, and Citi.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$183,000

Salary Distribution
Mississippi$55,155 Rank: 37th

The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Mutual of Omaha and NewHire.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$64,418 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Lear Group, Diedre Moire, and NextStep Recruiting.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$137,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$29,433 Rank: 44th

The average salary ranks 44th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Cornerstone, TheBestIRS, Insurance Recruiting Specialists, Mutual of Omaha, and Remedy Intelligent Staffing.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$7.75

$24.20

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$75,591 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Liberty Mutual.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$20,000

$166,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$74,920 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Penn Personnel Consultants, Inc., Contemporary Staffing Solutions, The Hanover Insurance Group, and Liberty Mutual.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$20,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$77,265 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$169,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$26,745 Rank: 46th

The average salary ranks 46th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Citi, Wells Fargo, DISYS, and National Debt Relief.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$7.25

$33.00

Salary Distribution
New York$75,939 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Hollinger Insurance Jobs, QuestPro, Liberty Mutual, and Greater New York Insurance Companies.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$15,000

$182,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$65,391 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like HRH Group Services, CyberCoders, All About People, and Hollinger Insurance Jobs.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$16,000

$146,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$57,418 Rank: 36th

The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Symmetry Financial Group, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, ADFITECH, and CompSource Mutual Insurance Company.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$64,773 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Wells Fargo, The Standard Insurance, and Liberty Mutual.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$68,501 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Questor Consultants, Inc., QuestPro, CSS, and The Hanover Insurance Group.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$167,000

Salary Distribution
Rhode Island$70,484 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Shannon Motors.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$26,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$54,278 Rank: 38th

The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Symmetry Financial Group, CyberCoders, Symmetry Financial, and General Placement Service.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$16,000

$115,000

Salary Distribution
South Dakota$51,879 Rank: 39th

The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TheBestIRS, Insurance Recruiting Specialists.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$24,000

$90,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$66,024 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, General Placement Service, Hortencia Warner Insurnace Agency LLC, and Hortencia Warner Ins Agency LLC.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$68,495 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SFG, CyberCoders, AppleOne, and Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$17,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$69,188 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Accounting Career Network, CyberCoders, and Fig.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$145,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$71,186 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Contemporary Staffing Solutions, NextStep Recruiting, Questor Consultants, Inc., and TheBestIRS, Insurance Recruiting Specialists.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$78,266 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Liberty Mutual.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$26,000

$157,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$61,454 Rank: 34th

The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Health Benefits Company, Criterion Executive Search, Diedre Moire, and CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$130,000

Salary Distribution
West Virginia$45,984 Rank: 43rd

The average salary ranks 43rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like BrickStreet Mutual Insurance.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$104,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Underwriter. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

As Seen On

“It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” - Mark Cuban