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Underwriter Salary

Earnings for Underwriters in the United States come in at around $53K annually on average. In the world of Underwriters, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $10K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $8K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $36K and $81K. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the particular firm, but career length and location are influential factors as well. Most Underwriters report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Women make up a slight majority of Underwriters (50 percent) survey respondents. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$36,759 - $76,529
(Median)
$37K
$53K
$77K
MEDIAN: $52,718
10%
50%
90%

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$13.02 - $28.89
(Median)
$13
$19
$29
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$36,759 - $76,529  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,155  
Profit Sharing
$491.79 - $7,935  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,426  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$36,024 - $80,900  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,781
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$13.02 - $28.89  
   
Overtime
$18.30 - $47.35  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,155  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,426  
Profit Sharing
$491.79 - $7,935  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$36,024 - $80,900  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 357

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Underwriter

Underwriters work for banks and other financial institutions. They assess the risk factor in accepting applicants for different services such as loans, mortgages, equity, insurance and capital. They review an applicant's credit history, age, financial situation and other factors to determine if the applicant would be a risk. If they are deemed a risk, applicants are determined by the underwriter to either be declined services or pay a premium interest rate. Underwriters' primary duty is to protect the financial institution for whom they work from losing money.

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Underwriter Tasks

  • Manage underwriting territory and select new business based on analysis of their profitability.
  • Analyze new and renewal business, data, claim history, loss experience, and outcome of liability decisions.
  • Underwrite, submit, approve or pend loans, and present decisions to management.
  • Monitor existing policies for compliance with company guidelines.

Common Career Paths for Underwriter


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At the upper end, Underwriters who move into a Manager of Underwriting role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Managers of Underwriting is a much higher $88K per year. Becoming a Senior Underwriter or a Mortgage Loan Underwriter is often the next step for an Underwriter.

Insurance Underwriter Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Underwriter


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Underwriters include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC), The Travelers Companies, Inc., State Farm Insurance Company, American International Group, Inc. (AIG), and Bank of America Corp. (BOFA). Although The Chubb Corporation heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $73K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $53K to $104K. The Travelers Companies, Inc., Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. also offer top salaries for Underwriters. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $72K, $67K, and $63K, respectively.

Known for its small paychecks, State Farm Insurance Company actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $44K — 67 percent less than the top paying company. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) at $47K, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage where $48K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Underwriters there earn up to $78K.

Popular Skills for Underwriter


Underwriters report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Negotiation, Mortgage Loans, Financial Analysis, and Underwriting are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 16 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Customer Service. Most people skilled in Insurance are similarly competent in Data Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Underwriter

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Underwriters, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $49K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $59K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $64K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $71K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location


For Underwriters, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 26 percent above the national average. Underwriters can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+23 percent), New York (+20 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), and Boston (+16 percent). Phoenix is the lowest-paying area, 2 percent south of the national average.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Underwriter Salaries




National Average
$53,000


Skills That Affect Underwriter Salaries




Underwriting
up arrow 7%

Commercial
up arrow 7%

Sales
up arrow 4%

Risk Management / Risk Control
up arrow 2%

Loan Underwriting
up arrow 2%

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
up arrow 2%

Insurance
up arrow 1%

National Average
$53,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 642 votes.

Gender

Female
50 %
Male
50 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 68% employee benefits None: 8%
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