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Underwriter Salary (United States)

Median pay for Underwriters in the United States is around $52K annually. Cash earnings for Underwriters — including $10K in bonuses and $7K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $36K to $80K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the company, followed by years of experience and geographic location. Most Underwriters like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 51 percent. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Underwriter Salary (?
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.
)
$36,526 - $75,831
(Median)
37K
43K
52K
63K
76K
MEDIAN: $52,088
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Underwriter Salary (?
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.
)
$12.51 - $28.10
(Median)
13
15
19
23
28
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$36,526 - $75,831  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,050  
Profit Sharing
$497.13 - $7,397  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,608  
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).
)
$35,699 - $80,031  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 2,813
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
$12.51 - $28.10  
   
Overtime
$18.37 - $45.88  
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 - $10,050  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,608  
Profit Sharing
$497.13 - $7,397  
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).
)
$35,699 - $80,031  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 361
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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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Underwriters may experience if they take an upper-level role like Manager of Underwriting. The position pays an average $87K annually. Going from Underwriter to Senior Underwriter is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $71K. Many others choose to work as Insurance Underwriters, where pay is typically $47K.

Insurance Underwriter Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Underwriter

Underwriters fill the offices of leading firms J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC), The Travelers Companies, Inc., American International Group, Inc. (AIG), Bank of America Corp. (BOFA), and State Farm Insurance Company. For Underwriters, comfortable salaries can be found at The Travelers Companies, Inc.; in fact, average earnings are around $70K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($52K versus $96K) is great. Other employers shelling out big bucks include The Chubb Corporation, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, and American International Group, Inc. (AIG), where Underwriters typically earn around $68K, $66K, or $62K, respectively.
State Farm Insurance Company offers the lowest pay, with a median salary of just $42K. The pay scale doesn't vary widely, either; compensation ranges from $35K to $80K. Workers at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), Cigna Corporation, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $47K, $48K, and $50K respectively.

Popular Skills for Underwriter

Underwriters report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Negotiation, Financial Analysis, Mortgage Loans, and Sales are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 18 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Customer Service. The majority of those who know Insurance also know Data Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Underwriter

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Underwriters — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $48K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $59K. On average, Underwriters make $62K following one to two decades on the job. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $72K.

Pay Difference By Location

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Boston
up arrow 16%
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National Average
$53,000
up arrow 1%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Underwriters in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Underwriters can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+22 percent), New York (+22 percent), Seattle (+17 percent), and Boston (+16 percent). With compensation 1 percent below the national average, Phoenix is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.

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Experience Affects Underwriter Salaries

National Average
$53,000

Skills That Affect Underwriter Salaries

up arrow 7%
Underwriting
up arrow 5%
Risk Management / Risk Control
up arrow 3%
Loan Underwriting
up arrow 3%
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
up arrow 3%
Insurance
up arrow 1%
Data Analysis
up arrow 1%
Microsoft Excel
0%
National Average
$53,000
Customer Service
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 720 votes.

Gender

Female
51%
female alumni
 
Male
49%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 7%