By Susan Wells
Today, with so much focus on a failing economy and a crashing job market, career talk can be a pretty dismal conversation. Our college graduates are entering an economy with a national unemployment rate of 8.1% and the threat of mounting college debt ever looming—not the brightest of world's to suit up and enter smiling. But, of course, we're doing it. Everyone from recent college graduates and experienced professionals interested in a career change continue to search for lucrative and stable positions within the professional world. Some of the top careers in the insurance field can offer stability, interesting work, and substantial pay. Jobs within the insurance sector make up close to 15% of America's work force. With this number being so significant, very few job seekers are actually aware of the vast potential the insurance field offers. These three insurance jobs are some of the best in the business.
Though actuaries are not exclusively employed in the insurance sector, insurance is their most traditional employment avenue. An actuary deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. For insurance companies, actuaries use their skills to develop pricing models for various insurance risks. This is one of the primary functions of an insurance professional and is a highly sought after skill among insurance professions. Actuaries use their specialized skills to calculate premiums and reserves for insurance policies. While actuaries make up a fairly small fraction of all insurance related careers, the number of actuaries has grown over the last several years and is expected to continue growing. To become an actuary a bachelor's degree in a math related area is expected, along with two to four years of experience in the industry, and licensing by either the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The pay scale for actuarial work is strong, with median earnings around $87,650 in 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When we think about a career in the insurance realm, most of us likely think insurance agent. Insurance agents are the facet of insurance companies that the general public has the most familiarity with. They are the sales force behind the insurance industry. Insurance agents are the force that markets and sells health, life, casualty, and property insurance products and plans to businesses and individuals. Sales is at the heart of being an insurance agent. Therefore, individuals who are customer-focused often excel at this position. While the pay range for these positions can vary greatly, the median pay for an insurance agent in 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $46,770 per year. However, some of the highest paid insurance agents can make up to six figures annually. The job outlook from 2010 to 2020 for insurance agents is expected to grow at 22% which is faster than the national average. Those looking for an extra edge on the job market today may want to consider obtaining further certifications as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) or Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR).
Property and Life Insurance Underwriters
Insurance underwriters preform some of the central functions of an insurance company. Underwriters make sure that new and existing insured individuals meet the insurance company's eligibility requirements. They use specialized knowledge and training to assess risk, price coverage, and eliminate ineligible applications. These practices enable an insurance company to operate successfully. It is the underwriter who provides the main avenue between an insurance company and an insurance agent. While job duties are similar among the various insurance fields, the criteria that an underwriter uses will depend entirely on what area of insurance they are employed in. For example, for someone applying for car insurance, an underwriter would take into consideration that individual's driving record. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for insurance underwriters in 2010 was $59,290 per year.
Susan Wells is from insurance quotes. She writes on topics including health/car/life insurance, mortgage, and real estate.