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Underwriter Salary

Underwriters in the United States pull down an average of $53K annually. Cash earnings of Underwriters — including $10K in bonuses, $8K in profit sharing proceeds, and $20K in commissions near the top of the pay scale — stretch from approximately $36K to approximately $81K depending on individual performance. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — career duration and geography are driving factors as well. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 50 percent. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$36,694 - $76,513
(Median)
$37K
$53K
$77K
MEDIAN: $52,716
10%
50%
90%

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$13.11 - $29.07
(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
$36,694 - $76,513  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,153  
Profit Sharing
$489.46 - $7,921  
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).
)
$35,992 - $80,879  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,807
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
$13.11 - $29.07  
   
Overtime
$18.43 - $47.74  
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 - $10,153  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,426  
Profit Sharing
$489.46 - $7,921  
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).
)
$35,992 - $80,879  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 359
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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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Manager of Underwriting. The average Manager of Underwriting brings home $88K per year. It is not uncommon for an Underwriter to continue on to become a Senior Underwriter or a Mortgage Loan Underwriter.

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), State Farm Insurance Company, and Bank of America Corp. (BOFA). With a median salary of $72K, The Travelers Companies, Inc. offers Underwriters the highest pay. However, earnings don't seem to live on a large spectrum; they generally peter out at $56K and are capped at $96K. Underwriters will also find cushy salaries at The Chubb Corporation (+$72K), Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (+$66K), and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (+$63K).

State Farm Insurance Company seems to offer the smallest paychecks with a median salary of only $44K. The pay range is quite narrow, too; compensation generally sits between $35K and $81K. 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 seem to exploit a large range 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. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Customer Service. It is often found that people who know Insurance are also skilled in Data Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Underwriter

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $49K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $59K. Underwriters with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $64K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Underwriter generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $71K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Underwriters, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Underwriters can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+23 percent), New York (+20 percent), Boston (+16 percent), and Los Angeles (+15 percent). Phoenix is the lowest-paying area, 1 percent south of the national average.

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Experience Affects Underwriter Salaries




National Average
$53,000


Skills That Affect Underwriter Salaries




Underwriting
up arrow 7%

Commercial
up arrow 7%

Sales
up arrow 3%

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 636 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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