Highest-Paying Career Options in the Insurance Industry
There are several high-paying careers in the insurance industry that make an annual median salary greater than $50,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2016. The respective salaries of these careers greatly exceed the median salary of all occupations, which the BLS determined to be $37,040 in 2016. These jobs vary greatly in their duties, but all play an important role in insurance. Compare and contrast some of the highest-paying careers in the insurance industry below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Insurance Underwriters||$67,680||-5% (Decline)|
|Claims Adjusters, Examiners and Investigators||$63,680||-1% (Decline)|
|Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate||$51,850||14%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Highest Paying Jobs in the Insurance Industry
Actuaries made an annual median salary of $100,610 in 2016, according to the BLS, and work primarily in the insurance industry analyzing the financial cost of risk. These professionals collect and analyze statistical data to try to estimate the cost of various events in order to develop insurance policies that minimize risk and produce the most profit. They present their results in detailed reports to shareholders, executives and other decision-making officials. Actuaries need a bachelor's degree, usually in actuarial science, and become certified professionals by passing multiple exams.
The BLS reported that insurance underwriters made a median salary of $67,680 in 2016. They are responsible for analyzing and weighing a client's information and potential risk, in order to decide whether to provide insurance, and if so, at which level and price. Most of their work is done using underwriting software to determine premiums and amounts of coverage, but they may need to contact doctors or field representatives to gather any other information that needs to be taken into account. Insurance underwriters usually need a bachelor's degree and certification for advancement, but some positions may only need related work experience and computer skills.
Claims Adjusters, Examiners and Investigators
Claims adjusters, examiners and investigators had a median salary of $63,680 in 2016, per the BLS. These professionals, as their names suggest, evaluate a variety of insurance claims to see how much insurance should pay on a qualifying claim. They must ensure that the claim is not fraudulent, figure out what is covered under the particular insurance policy, negotiate settlements and then approve payments. Most of these positions only need a high school diploma at the entry level, but more advanced positions may need a bachelor's degree or work experience.
Financial analysts made a median salary of $81,760 in 2016, according to the BLS. When working in the insurance industry, they help insurance companies and other businesses determine their best investment options based on financial data and business trends. These analysts also evaluate the company's financial records, management team and other prospects to include as factors in their investment advice that they present in written reports. Financial analysts may need a license or certification and must possess a bachelor's degree.
Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate
According to the BLS, appraisers and assessors of real estate made a median salary of $51,850 in 2016. These professionals have to evaluate land and buildings before they can be insured in order to place a value estimate on the property. To do this, they have to inspect and photograph the different interior and exterior characteristics, compare similar properties and then present their findings in written reports. Education requirements for appraisers and assessors of real estate vary by state, but most need a bachelor's degree, certification or a license.