Best Insurance Careers and Jobs in 2020 – Insurance Agent, Underwriter Or Something Else?

Millennials are overtaking boomers in the insurance industry workforce. They are on the lookout for long and fulfilling insurance careers and insurance agent jobs. The hunt for exciting insurance jobs may get confusing. Let’s clear the confusion with the best insurance careers you can pursue for 2020!

Quick check: Planning to start your insurance career? We assume you’ve already got your insurance license, or at least applied for it? Why? It is the first step you need to do to start your insurance career as a professional.

If you have a license, there’s plenty of insurance jobs to look for in the industry. Whether you’re a newbie who needs a head start, or a professional looking to change career paths, you have options. So, it all depends upon you where you want to start!

In this blog, we will go through the most lucrative insurance careers in the industry. We’ll guide you through their job eligibility, required skills, salary ranges, and, most importantly, their growth prospects. At the end of this blog, we will let you know about the most prospective insurance careers in terms of growth.

With all the information, you can decide on what direction to go ahead on your own!

Insurance Agent- The Most Popular Insurance Career!

Insurance Agents also known as insurance sales agents, sell policies from carriers to the customers in need. Most insurance agents work in three major areas of the industry:

  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance

Are you searching for the best entry-level job? Then being a P&C insurance agent would be the right fit for you. It is also the most prospering insurance market in the US. According to Deloitte Insights, the P&C sector witnessed a new income of $60 billion, with a 10.8% increase in written net premiums.

Although life insurance agents have the highest average salaries, the growth in the P&C sector is something you should not overlook.  

An insurance agent’s main job is to help customers identify their risks and find them a product that best suits their needs. Hence, it can be a business ensuring their products/liabilities, or individuals who need insurance for their car.

When it comes to choosing an insurance agent as a career, people often confuse it with an insurance broker. They even use these terms interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between these two titles and jobs. So, if you think they are the same, hold up. What the differences? Have a clear idea of what is an insurance broker and what is an agent, then decide which job is better for you.

As for insurance agents, they can either work for one insurance company as a captive agent or can work independently with an agency or start their own business. We’ll talk more about that in the end, so stay along!


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Requirements and relevant skills: 
  • A high school diploma at the least.
  • A State License, as well as completion of the pre-licensing course for the selected line of authority where you plan to work, is required.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills (if you want to excel).
  • Persuasive skills, since agents rely on commissions. They need to convince customers to buy policies to cover their needs.
Insurance Agent Salaries: 

Let me tell you an obvious secret- it depends on how good you are! 

Insurance agents salaries are commission-based. The more policies they sell, the more they earn. While selling insurance policies an agent, you should pay attention to the people they are selling it to. Different generation has different wants from their insurance policies. So, your pay as an agent depends upon your skills. Plus it depends on how well you can elevate your growth potential.  

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Insurance Agents earn $50,600 annually and $24.33 hourly on average as of 2018. The job outlook is also growing at a rate of 10%, which is very impressive!


Insurance Actuary- The Most Challenging Insurance Job to Break Into!

An insurance actuary is one of the most challenging insurance professions. Why? Because their role focuses more on risk assessment and research for carriers. Thus, it involves projecting potential risks and claims that will affect the company. They usually deal with statistical data more than people.  

Like insurance agents, actuaries also specialize in the three major insurance lines mentioned above. For example, an actuary specializing in P&C insurance calculates and assess potential claims for insurers’ auto insurance policies. Then they devise appropriate premiums that fit the assessed risks. Keep in mind these set premiums should also be competitive with the market.

Requirements and relevant skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree, with a background in statistics, economics, or finance.
  • Ability to use necessary analytical and database-oriented software
  • Must have certification from relevant society in the line of insurance like the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA).
  • Must have a high level of critical skills to analyze numbers.

Insurance Actuary Salaries: 

Being an insurance actuary is one of the highest paying insurance jobs in the market. However, getting into this job is also the most challenging.  

According to the US BLS, the insurance market has 25,000 actuaries as of 2018, compared to 475,900 insurance agents. Insurance Actuaries earn $102,880 per year and $49.46 per hour on average. The job outlook rate is 20%, which is much faster than any other insurance job. But it is not easy to be an actuary. Do you think you can take the pressure and have the required skills? If yes, then go for it! 

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Insurance Underwriter – Be A Risk Assessment Expert!

Insurance underwriters are professionals who evaluate an insured’s application to get coverage and decide on their premiums. They specialize in assessing risks with great attention to detail on the insured’s information.  

Moreover, they act as a bridge between the insurance agents and the insured. They provide compelling premiums for agents and minimize risks for the insurers by setting appropriate premiums. Basically, they work to create a balance between risks and rewards.  

Is becoming an insurance underwriter a good option? Going after a career as an insurance underwriter is for someone who has a passion for finance or insurance. Not to mention, they need to have a knack for making calculated decisions. 

But being an insurance underwriter is slowly losing its growth. Why is it so? Because of insurance technology, insurers are adopting and investing in automated underwriting systems. These systems will gradually change the role of underwriters to more risk advisory roles. Furthermore, embrace what technology will bring in insurance, and you can excel in being an underwriter! 

Requirements and relevant skills:  

  • Bachelor’s degree with courses in math, business, finance, or economics.
  • Excellent communication skills – get the right information with the right questions.
  • Calculated decision-making skills and great attention to detail.
  • Certifications are not required but often necessary. An underwriter is expected to take a lot of courses and exams related to the working field.
  • Ability to use enterprise resource planning and financial software.

Insurance Underwriter Salaries 

Underwriters earn $69,380 annually and $33.36 per hour, according to the US BLS. However, insurance underwriters, like said earlier, are slowly losing their jobs because of technology. This insurance job experienced a 5% decrease in job outlook in the year 2018.  

Claims Adjuster- An Investigator of Claims! 

Claims adjusters have a similar role as investigators but in the case of claims. For instance, if an insured gets into an accident with their car, the insurer needs to cover the damages. It is the job of an adjuster to conduct their research and obtains all necessary information. In other words, adjusters assess the severity of the loss in the site of the accident by taking interviews and inspections to gain insight into what happened.

Adjusters can work for both the insurers and the insured. Those working for the insurers offer a claim that best suits the company’s interests. And those working for the client’s side negotiate for more than what the insurers offer.

Requirements and relevant skills:

  • A high school diploma degree in terms of education.
  • Work experience or knowledge related to the line of industry.
  • Completion of insurance licensing course and exams.
  • Close attention to detail and observational skills.
  • Exception negotiation skills. Adjusters need to negotiate for the best interests of whom they’re working for.

Claims Adjuster Salaries: 

Claims adjusters earn around $65,000 per year and $31 per hour on average in the US market. But this insurance career is experiencing a decrease in job lookout with a 4% decrease. However, the industry has about 346,000 adjusters and has a decent market for career growth.   

Claims Examiner- One Who Reviews The Claims! 

Claims examiners review the claims made by insureds. Often called as reviewers, life and health insurance companies employ the claim examiners. They work closely with claims adjusters and decide whether to approve or reject the claims. Their main job is to identify if the claims made are reasonable or not. 

Unlike claims adjusters, who work mostly on-site, claims examiners have desk jobs and work mostly through telephone and mail. They must carefully record all the details of the settlement process and prepare summary reports. Likewise, they might also require testifying in the court in cases such as contested claims. 

Requirements and relevant skills:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in courses in law, business, math, and economics is helpful.  
  • Minimum of two years of college for employment as a junior claims examiner. Junior examiners are trained on the job itself by experienced workers. 
  • Insurance companies prefer employing examiners who have some expertise in the field that the company focuses on. Example: experience in the medical field for health insurance. 


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Claims Examiner Salaries: 

US BSL states that the average pay of a claims examiner was $65,670 per year and $31.57 per hour. A 4% decline has been identified in this job as well. However, there are still 346,000 examiners in the US market. The firsthand training from experts is a benefit that everyone should consider. This can help in boosting the career even if you want to change later.

Have you decided?

Now you know about the most popular insurance careers in the industry. Have you decided which insurance job you want to pursue?  

If yes, good for you!

But if you’re still confused about it and don’t know what to become, let us give you our take on what you should select among all of them.

Be an Insurance Agent – The Best Career Option for You!

Among all of them, becoming an insurance agent is the most lucrative path for your success. You must look into how to become an insurance agent. It is not the most paying job. However, you can break your way out of the circle with the help of your skills in a short amount of time.

Insurance agents can work for a single carrier, as a captive agent. Additionally, they can work with an agency, or start their own by being an independent agent. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are 51% of independent insurance agents in the US insurance market, as of 2018. The obvious benefit of working for multiple careers as an independent agent is higher commissions, which explains this high percentage. 

Being an independent agent is a path you can take to drive your insurance career. Plus, you would have a better course of direction. But in the end, it’s up to you to decide which insurance career you want to pursue.

Did we help you with your questions? Let us know what insurance job that stood out the most for you in the comments below!

Learn how you can flourish as an agent after one call!

Schedule a call right now and learn how you can ease your work, sell more, and increase your profits!


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