A career in the insurance industry can be an exciting adventure with often challenging but rewarding days and experiences.
Workers may enter the industry with anything from a high school diploma to a graduate degree and there are a number of fantastic, well-paying career paths in the industry.
ProTraining by Yardstick Training’s online insurance training courses are designed to help learners find insurance jobs through industry-leading online teaching principles and expertise.
Why Work in the Insurance Industry
It’s easy to overlook the industry, after all – most of us don’t think about insurance until we really need it. However; the insurance industry employed more than 2.8 million people in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance carriers and related activities contributed $602.7 billion, or 3.1 percent, to the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. A total of $1.2 trillion in industry net premiums were written in the insurance industry in the United States in 2017.
Median wages for those in the insurance industry vary depending on the specific line of work – but range from roughly $39,000 to $70,000 USD, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Learners looking for information on insurance jobs can do so through ProTraining by Yardstick training. This list will walk you through some of the most exciting and rewarding careers in the insurance industry.
1. Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters determine the amount of loss coverage which a company is accountable for. Their daily operations include investigating, analyzing and calculating the amount of damage claimed in a given incident to establish an accurate settlement payment.
Daily tasks for insurance adjusters include but are not limited to:
- Visiting the scene of accidents
- Inspecting damaged property in order to appraise losses
- Interviewing experts in respective fields such as medical personnel or accident witnesses
- Negotiating settlements with claimants
- Writing finding-based reports
- Analyzing insurance policies to determine coverage
- Preparing documents to be used in a court of law as evidence
The best adjusters are individuals who work well in high-pressure situations and who have a mind for numbers and statistics. Being people-oriented is an often greatly appreciated trait for adjusters – as it is important to both be analytical, but also empathize with customers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median pay for insurance adjusters was $65,670 per year or $31.57 per hour. The typical entry-level education was a high school diploma or equivalent.
2. Insurance Agent
When most of us think of a career in insurance, we think of insurance agents. Insurance agents are at the forefront of the industry and interact with potential clients almost every day.
An insurance agent’s main task is to sell insurance policies – whether they are life property, health, car or a number of other options. They liaise between the company they are employed by and individuals or organizations looking to purchase insurance.
Insurance agents are often confused with insurance brokers, however; there are key differences between the two.
Insurance agents work solely for a single insurance company, only selling that company’s products – brokers work independently from insurance companies and may sell products from different companies to a single client.
Daily tasks for insurance agents include but are not limited to:
- Selling insurance plans and policies
- Interviewing clients to assess their insurance needs and answering any questions
- Working with insurance brokers to negotiate products
- Working with insurance underwriters to process contracts
Those looking at insurance jobs as an agent should be individuals who are very personable and have strong customer service skills. Communication skills are critical to successful insurance agents. Prospective agents should also have excellent time management and problem-solving skills.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median pay for insurance agents was $50,600 per year or $24.33 per hour. The typical entry-level education was a high school diploma or equivalent.
3. Insurance Actuary
If you are the type of person who is good with numbers, has an eye for details and loves analyzing statistics – a career as an actuary might be perfect for you.
Insurance actuaries analyze financial risk for insurance companies by using mathematics, statistics and financial theories. They allow companies to determine good risks, which the company is less likely to have to pay out claims on.
Actuaries are key to the continued success of any insurance company and are relied on to determine risk for life, property, liability and a number of other forms of insurance.
Daily tasks for insurance actuaries include but are not limited to:
- Collecting data for statistical analysis
- Designing insurance policies
- Developing strategies to reduce risk and loss while increasing profit
- Submitting and explaining statistical research findings
The best actuaries are math minded and have a fantastic aptitude to understand statistics and monitor emerging trends. To be a successful actuary you must have excellent organizational and time management skills and a strong attention to detail. Computer skills are also critical in this role.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median pay for actuaries in the United States was $102,880 per year or $49.96 per hour. The typical entry-level education is a bachelor’s degree.
4. Insurance Underwriter
Insurance companies closely monitor and gauge the risk they will take on whenever a client is interested in purchasing an insurance product.
The company will evaluate the risk level before deciding on the appropriate next step. Insurance underwriters work inside insurance companies to evaluate the requests and determine what risk the company will be taking on.
Underwriters typically work alongside actuaries, brokers and agents to determine if policies can be processed or not. Underwriters are also typically in charge of evaluating existing customers contracts to determine the eligibility for renewal.
Daily tasks for insurance underwriters include but are not limited to:
- Collecting any relevant information on insurance policy applicants
- Adjusting policies to minimize the risk of losses
- Working with agents and brokers on insurance policies
- Working with actuaries to assess risks
- Keeping and maintaining client lists
- Calculating premiums and arranging payment for new clients
Learners interested in insurance jobs as an underwriter must be outstanding with mathematics and statistics. Time management and organizational skills are also crucial to success in this role. Underwriters should also be comfortable with communication and interpersonal skills as they will often be working with both colleagues and potential clients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median pay for an insurance underwriter was $69, 380 per year or $33.36 per hour. The typical entry-level education is a bachelor’s degree.
5. Claim Handler
Insurance claim handlers, or customer service representatives, work on the frontline, liaising between insurance companies and plan holders. When a policyholder requires use of their insurance – they do so through a claim handler.
Handlers work directly for insurance companies, typically as members of the customer service team. Whenever a new claim is filed, a handler will take charge of the specific case and may work with underwriters, adjusters and brokers depending on the particular case.
Daily tasks for insurance claim handlers include but are not limited to:
- Receiving and prioritizing calls from policyholders in regard to emergencies
- Assisting clients with anything necessary
- Verifying settlement payments
- Calculating claim settlements
- Verifying the level of coverage on insurance policies
- Collecting and verifying client information
- Accepting or rejecting claims
Insurance jobs as a claim handler require individuals to have outstanding personal and sales skills. To succeed in this role handlers must be able to understand the needs and concerns of clients. Good computer skills are also crucial to success in this role. In addition, time management and organizational skills are very important.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median pay for an insurance claim handler (customer service representative) was $33,750 per year or $16.23 per hour. The typical entry-level education is a high school diploma or equivalent.
If you are interested in a career in the insurance industry ProTraining by Yardstick training’s online insurance training courses can prepare you today.