Salary Survey of Insurance Underwriters in the USA

Salary Survey of Insurance Underwriters in the USA

Avatar photo Jeff Gipson | May 8, 2023

Insurance underwriters play a crucial role in the insurance industry, evaluating and analyzing risks to determine the coverage and premiums for various policies. As the insurance landscape evolves, the demand for skilled underwriters continues to grow.  

In this report, we present the results of a salary survey of insurance underwriters in the U.S., highlighting the key factors that influence their compensation, including experience, education, location and industry specialization. 

This salary survey is based on data collected from various sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Glassdoor, Payscale, and other reputable industry sources. It is essential to note that the figures presented in this report are subject to change as the market conditions and data sources are updated. 

Salary Overview 

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for insurance underwriters in the USA as of May 2021 was $76,390. The lowest 10% of insurance underwriters earned less than $47,330 while the highest 10% earned more than $126,380. 

Factors Influencing Insurance Underwriter Salaries 

  1. Experience: 

Experience plays a significant role in determining an underwriter’s salary. Entry-level underwriters typically earn lower salaries, with the potential for increases as they gain more experience and demonstrate their proficiency in risk assessment and policy evaluation. 

•    Entry-level (0-2 years of experience): $45,000 – $60,000 

•    Mid-level (3-7 years of experience): $60,000 – $85,000 

•    Senior-level (8+ years of experience): $85,000 – $120,000+ 

  1. Education: 

Underwriters with advanced degrees or specialized certifications, such as Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) or Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU), can command higher salaries due to their enhanced expertise and credibility in the field. 

•    Bachelor’s degree: $45,000 – $80,000 

•    Advanced degree or certification: $60,000 – $120,000+ 

  1. Location: 

The cost of living and demand for underwriters in different regions can impact salary levels. Underwriters in metropolitan areas with high living costs, such as New York City or San Francisco, tend to earn higher salaries than those in smaller cities or rural areas. 

•    East Coast (e.g., New York City, Boston, Washington D.C.): $70,000 – $100,000 

•    West Coast (e.g., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle): $65,000 – $95,000 

•    Midwest (e.g., Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis): $55,000 – $85,000 

•    South (e.g., Atlanta, Dallas, Houston): $50,000 – $80,000 

  1. Industry Specialization: 

Insurance underwriters who specialize in specific industries or niches, such as healthcare, technology, or cyber insurance, may command higher salaries due to the specialized knowledge and expertise required in these fields. 

•    General insurance underwriter: $45,000 – $90,000 

•    Specialty underwriter (e.g., cyber, healthcare, technology): $60,000 – $120,000+ 

The salary of insurance underwriters in the U.S. can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, education, location, and industry specialization. The continued growth of the insurance industry and the increasing complexity of risks suggest that the demand for skilled underwriters will remain strong in the foreseeable future. To attract and retain top talent, insurance companies must ensure that their compensation packages are competitive and reflect the value underwriters bring to the organization. 

At The James Allen Companies, we focus on bringing our clients and candidates the highest levels of service, connecting essential talent to the insurance industry organizations where they can make the greatest and most positive impact.  

About the Author

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Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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