How to Become an Underwriter?

Are you thinking of becoming an Underwriter or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Underwriter, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Underwriter job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become an Underwriter

Do you want to become an underwriter, or are you midway through your career and are looking for the next step? Find out what to do to get a job as an underwriter, the skills you'll need while you work in the field, and how to advance your career. Discover underwriter jobs and how to transition your career into the field. Follow these four steps to start your underwriting career:
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1

Get your bachelor's degree in a field that relates to finance.

Being an underwriter requires analytical, math, and organizational skills, which you can start developing as early as possible. A career as an underwriter begins with a bachelor's degree. Underwriters come to the field with bachelor's degrees in a few different areas, like finance, math, business, and even economics. Focusing on the right classes in school and training after school will set you on the path to becoming an underwriter. While you're getting your degree, you should focus on courses like:

  • Math.
  • Financial modeling.
  • Business administration.

While you're in school, develop your soft skills as well. Underwriters need to be good problem-solvers and communicators. Taking on leadership positions in student organizations or getting involved with a club can help.

What type of degree should you pursue to become an Underwriter?

85% of people working as an Underwriter earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be an Underwriter?

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Written Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Excellent Organizational
  • Excellent Communication
  • Property Underwriting
  • Filing
  • Business Writing
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Underwriter in the United States.
2

Obtain underwriting experience to grow your knowledge of the finance industry.

Some employers will hire recent graduates as entry-level underwriters, but others want people who have a few years of experience. You can gain experience in the insurance field by looking for positions as a clerk or an underwriting assistant. This will give you hands-on knowledge about the industry; plus, you'll get to see what underwriters at the company do on a daily basis. Let your boss know you're looking to move into underwriting; take on tasks and projects at work that will help you gain the skills you need.

Once you're hired as an underwriter, you'll likely work under a more senior underwriter while you learn the job. Spend your first years on the job learning the trade and gaining confidence as you take on more projects independently.

3

Get certified in your underwriting specialty to expand your skills.

Underwriters need to obtain certifications and keep them current. This usually involves taking courses and passing exams. The industry you work in (insurance or mortgage, for example) will help inform the kind of certification you need.

New underwriters will focus on getting certified for the first time, while experienced professionals can use certifications to move into more advanced roles or to expand their knowledge. Remember to pay attention to when certifications expire; your employer will want you to keep them current, and having recent certifications will help you during any job searches.

4

Advance into underwriter management roles, like senior underwriter or lead underwriter.

Once you have experience underwriting, move into higher positions like senior underwriter and start developing your teamwork skills. As your career as an underwriter advances, look for supervisory and leadership positions. These will bring you a salary boost and the opportunity to continue working as an underwriter while overseeing the work of others.

Underwriter Career Path

Underwriter

2 - 4Years of Experience
$52K - $72K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Underwriter

2 - 4Years of Experience
$72K - $98K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Underwriter IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$53K - $77K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Underwriter Career Path

Underwriter I
Underwriter
Assistant Manager of Underwriting
Senior Underwriter
Underwriter Manager
Underwriter IV
Senior Manager of Underwriting
Director of Underwriting
Vice President of Underwriting
Deputy Chief Underwriter
Executive Underwriter
Chief Underwriter
$40K
$58K
$76K
$94K
$130K

Related careers in the Finance & Accounting Industry

Interested in other Finance & Accounting careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Underwriter skills. Discover some of the most common Underwriter career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Loan Officer
38% skills overlap
16% transitioned to Loan Officer