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Become A Senior Underwriter

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Working As A Senior Underwriter

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $107,831

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Underwriter Do

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses. 

Duties

Loan officers typically do the following:

  • Contact companies or people to ask if they need a loan
  • Meet with loan applicants to gather personal information and answer questions
  • Explain different types of loans and the terms of each one to applicants
  • Obtain, verify, and analyze the applicant’s financial information, such as the credit rating and income level
  • Review loan agreements to ensure that they comply with federal and state regulations
  • Approve loan applications or refer them to management for a decision

Loan officers use a process called underwriting to assess whether applicants qualify for loans. After collecting and verifying all the required financial documents, the loan officer evaluates the information they obtain to determine the applicant’s need for a loan and ability to pay back the loan. Most firms use underwriting software, which produces a recommendation for the loan based on the applicant’s financial status. After the underwriting software produces a recommendation, loan officers review the output of the software and consider any additional information to make a final decision.

The work of loan officers has sizable customer-service and sales components. Loan officers often answer questions and guide customers through the application process. In addition, many loan officers must market the products and services of their lending institution and actively solicit new business. 

The following are common types of loan officers:

Commercial loan officers specialize in loans to businesses, which often use the loans to buy supplies and upgrade or expand operations. Commercial loans frequently are larger and more complicated than other types of loans. Because companies have such complex financial situations and statements, commercial loans usually require human judgment in addition to the analysis by underwriting software. Furthermore, some commercial loans are so large that no single bank will provide the entire amount requested. In such cases, loan officers may have to work with multiple banks to put together a package of loans. 

Consumer loan officers specialize in loans to people. Consumers take out loans for many reasons, such as buying a car or paying college tuition. For some simple consumer loans, the underwriting process is fully automated. However, the loan officer is still needed to guide applicants through the process and to handle cases with unusual circumstances. Some institutions—usually small banks and credit unions—do not use underwriting software and instead rely on loan officers to complete the underwriting process manually.

Mortgage loan officers specialize in loans used to buy real estate (property and buildings), which are called mortgage loans. Mortgage loan officers work on loans for both residential and commercial properties. Often, mortgage loan officers must seek out clients, which requires developing relationships with real estate companies and other sources that can refer prospective applicants. 

Within these three fields, some loan officers specialize in a particular part of the loan process:

Loan collection officers contact borrowers who fail to make their loan payments on time. They work with borrowers to help them find a way to keep paying off the loan. If the borrower continues to miss payments, loan officers start the process of taking away what the borrower used to secure the loan (called “collateral”)—often a home or car—and selling it to repay the loan. 

Loan underwriters specialize in evaluating whether a client is creditworthy. They collect, verify, and evaluate the client’s financial information provided on their loan applications and then use loan underwriting software to produce recommendations.

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How To Become A Senior Underwriter

Most loan officers need a bachelor’s degree and receive on-the-job training. Mortgage loan officers must be licensed.

Education

Loan officers typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in a field such as business or finance. Because commercial loan officers analyze the finances of businesses applying for credit, they need to understand general business accounting, including how to read financial statements.  

Some loan officers may be able to enter the occupation without a bachelor’s degree if they have related work experience, such as experience in sales, customer service, or banking. 

Training

Once hired, loan officers usually receive some on-the-job training. This may be a combination of formal, company-sponsored training and informal training during the first few months on the job.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Mortgage loan officers must have a Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) license. To become licensed, they must complete at least 20 hours of coursework, pass an exam, and submit to background and credit checks. Licenses must be renewed annually, and individual states may have additional requirements.

Several banking associations, including the American Bankers Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association, as well as a number of schools, offer courses, training programs, or certifications for loan officers. Although not required, certification shows dedication and expertise and thus may enhance a candidate’s employment opportunities. 

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Loan officers must assess an applicant’s financial information and decide whether to award the applicant a loan. 

Detail oriented. Each piece of information on an application can have a major effect on the profitability of a loan, meaning that loan officers must pay attention to detail.

Initiative. Loan officers need to seek out new clients. They often act as salespeople, promoting their lending institution and contacting firms to determine their need for a loan.

Interpersonal skills. Because loan officers work with people, they must be able to guide customers through the application process and answer their questions.

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Senior Underwriter Jobs

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Senior Underwriter Career Paths

Senior Underwriter
Credit Officer Underwriter Team Manager
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Team Manager Sales Consultant Personal Banker
Bank Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operation Supervisor Assistant Branch Manager
Branch Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Team Lead Operations Manager Branch Manager
Branch Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Team Manager Assistant Vice President Risk Manager
Chief Risk Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Credit Officer Credit Manager
Credit Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Analyst Operations Analyst Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manager, Assistant Vice President Vice President And Manager Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President Of Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Manager, Assistant Vice President Mortgage Consultant Underwriter
Lending Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Manager Assistant Vice President
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Vice President And Manager President/Chief Executive Officer Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Analyst Senior Analyst Risk Manager
Risk Management Director
10 Yearsyrs
Auditor Account Executive Relationship Manager
Senior Relationship Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Operations Vice President
Senior Vice President-Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Vice President And Manager Mortgage Consultant Underwriter
Underwriting Director
9 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Manager, Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Team Lead Underwriter Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Auditor Finance Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President Operation Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Senior Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

57.6%

Male

40.2%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.8%

Russian

6.2%

Mandarin

5.3%

Chinese

5.3%

Korean

4.4%

French

4.4%

Carrier

4.4%

Portuguese

3.5%

German

2.7%

Cantonese

2.7%

Armenian

1.8%

Italian

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Czech

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Swedish

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Danish

0.9%

Bulgarian

0.9%
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Senior Underwriter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.7%

Strayer University

5.7%

California State University - Fullerton

5.4%

Michigan State University

4.7%

University of North Texas

4.7%

Central Connecticut State University

4.7%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.3%

University of Connecticut

4.3%

University of North Florida

4.0%

Ohio State University

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Washington

3.7%

Northern Illinois University

3.7%

New York University

3.3%

San Diego State University

3.3%

Boston College

3.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Cleveland State University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

37.4%

Finance

15.0%

Accounting

7.3%

Management

4.6%

Economics

3.8%

Marketing

3.6%

Insurance

3.5%

Real Estate

3.5%

Political Science

2.7%

Education

2.7%

Communication

2.4%

Psychology

2.3%

Law

1.6%

Mathematics

1.5%

English

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

Health Care Administration

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Sociology

1.2%

Nursing

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.2%

Other

24.8%

Masters

16.0%

Associate

7.7%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

0.6%

Diploma

0.6%
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Real Senior Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Treaty Underwriter Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation Armonk, NY Sep 09, 2010 $195,000
Senior Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Mount Laurel, NJ Sep 16, 2016 $175,000 -
$200,000
Senior Underwriter Catlin, Inc. Miami, FL Dec 30, 2013 $160,000 -
$180,000
Senior Underwriter Contingency & Crime Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Jan 04, 2016 $160,000 -
$165,000
Senior Engineering Underwriter Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Nov 18, 2016 $160,000 -
$165,000
Senior Underwriter Engineering Swiss Re America Holding Corporation Miami, FL Oct 02, 2016 $152,000 -
$155,000
Senior Underwriter Treaty Insurance Catlin Insurance Company Miami, FL Oct 01, 2012 $150,000
Senior Mergers and Acquisitions Underwriter National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. New York, NY Aug 22, 2016 $140,000
Senior Underwriter Property Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Apr 27, 2016 $140,000 -
$145,000
Senior Underwriter Engineering Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation Armonk, NY Oct 01, 2010 $140,000
Senior Underwriter-Property Facultative XL Reinsurance America Inc. Hartford, CT Oct 31, 2013 $125,000
Senior Underwriter Specialist General Reinsurance Corp. Atlanta, GA Apr 01, 2011 $121,575
Senior Underwriter (Property) Westport Insurance Corporation Philadelphia, PA Aug 26, 2013 $120,000 -
$170,000
Senior Underwriter General Reinsurance Corp. New York, NY Sep 09, 2011 $118,375
Senior Underwriter General Reinsurance Corporation New York, NY Sep 08, 2014 $118,000
Senior Underwriter Equine XL Specialty Insurance Company New York, NY Nov 01, 2014 $116,355 -
$223,918
Senior Underwriter National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. New York, NY Apr 01, 2016 $115,000
Senior Underwriter General Reinsurance Corp. New York, NY Jan 09, 2011 $107,625
Senior Underwriter Contingency & Crime Westport Insurance Corporation Miami, FL Jul 15, 2015 $105,165 -
$170,000
Senior Underwriter Catlin, Inc. Miami, FL Jun 01, 2016 $105,000 -
$175,000
Senior Underwriter-Property Facultative XL Global Services, Inc. Boston, MA Oct 02, 2016 $91,042 -
$145,692
Senior Underwriter for International Casualty Zurich American Insurance Company New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $90,000
Senior Credit Risk Underwriter Unicredit Bank AG New York, NY Aug 11, 2011 $85,613 -
$110,000
Senior Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Mount Laurel, NJ Aug 25, 2016 $85,008
Senior Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Mount Laurel, NJ Jun 16, 2016 $85,008
Senior Underwriter Professional Indemnity Agency, Inc. Mount Kisco, NY Jan 11, 2015 $85,000
Senior Underwriter Professional Indemnity Agency, Inc. Mount Kisco, NY Jan 10, 2014 $85,000
Senior Underwriter Ace American Insurance Company Chicago, IL Feb 04, 2013 $84,000
SR. Reinsurance Underwriter Optimum Re Insurance Company Dallas, TX Aug 20, 2013 $80,266 -
$107,021

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Top Skills for A Senior Underwriter

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  1. Loan Applications
  2. Underwriting Guidelines
  3. Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review complex loan applications for completeness and accuracy.
  • Maintained knowledge of all applicable underwriting guidelines by completing all underwriting Training programs, learning any business unit policies and/or guidelines.
  • Issued proper disclosures as required by federal regulatory compliance.
  • Analyzed small businesses financial statements, income documentation, and assets to model a business ability to repay loan obligations.
  • Process and underwrite conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, PHFA and home equity loans for sale to multiple investors.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Underwriters

  1. Nebraska
  2. New York
  3. Connecticut
  4. Minnesota
  5. New Jersey
  6. Kansas
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Texas
  9. Missouri
  10. Ohio
  • (14 jobs)
  • (139 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (146 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)

Top Senior Underwriter Employers

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Jobs From Top Senior Underwriter Employers

Senior Underwriter Videos

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