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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

  • $88,000

    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 Career Paths

Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Vice President Operations Vice President
Senior Vice President-Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Vice President
Group Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President
Commercial Lending Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Vice President Vice President And Manager
Vice President Operation Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Relationship Manager
Senior Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager
Business Development Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager Project Manager Portfolio Manager
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Regional Sales Manager
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Team Lead Assistant Store Manager Assistant Branch Manager
Finance Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Relationship Manager
Business Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Project Manager Operations Director
Assistant Vice President Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Branch Manager
Branch Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Branch Manager Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Team Lead Executive Team Leader Assistant Store Manager
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manager, Assistant Vice President Director Finance Vice President
Administration Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Sales Manager Branch Sales Manager
Banking Center Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Branch Sales Manager Banking Center Manager
Bank Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Manager
Lending Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Underwriter 5.0 years
Health Underwriter 4.9 years
Marine Underwriter 4.0 years
Underwriter 3.6 years
Junior Underwriter 2.2 years
Loan Auditor 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Senior Underwriter
Underwriter 39.0%
Processor 2.0%
Manager 1.7%
Top Careers After Senior Underwriter
Underwriter 39.0%
Auditor 2.0%
Manager 1.7%
Consultant 1.7%

Do you work as a Senior Underwriter?

Average Yearly Salary
$88,000
Show Salaries
$59,000
Min 10%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$88,000
Median 50%
$131,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
JPMorgan Chase
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does a Senior Underwriter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Underwriter in the United States is $88,796 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $131,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Senior Underwriter Salaries

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

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Top Skills for A Senior Underwriter

  1. Loan Portfolio
  2. Loan Applications
  3. Underwriting Guidelines
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored loan portfolio to ensure adequate performance and acceptable delinquency levels consistent with industry standards and company goals.
  • Exercised sound judgment in assessing and granting credit on approximately 70 customer loan applications per day resulting in minimized company losses.
  • Participated in Agent Service Seminars throughout the Southern Region providing detailed information on new or updated underwriting guidelines and state statues.
  • Complete Mortgage Insurance requirements using Desktop Underwriter and Loan Prospector automated systems - Loan modification
  • Examined supporting loan documents, including credit reports, financial statements and collateral for adherence to guidelines, accuracy and completeness.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Underwriters

  1. New York
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Michigan
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Delaware
  6. Tennessee
  7. New Jersey
  8. North Carolina
  9. Texas
  10. Connecticut
  • (139 jobs)
  • (107 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (73 jobs)
  • (146 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)

Senior Underwriter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 9,787 Senior Underwriter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior Underwriter Resume

View Resume Examples

Senior Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

55.5%

Male

41.1%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.8%

Russian

5.6%

Chinese

5.6%

Mandarin

4.9%

French

4.9%

Carrier

4.2%

Korean

3.5%

Portuguese

2.8%

German

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Armenian

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Czech

1.4%

Swedish

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Danish

0.7%

Bulgarian

0.7%
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Senior Underwriter Education

Schools

University of Texas at Arlington

7.1%

Eastern Michigan University

7.1%

California State University - Fullerton

6.6%

University of Connecticut

6.0%

Northern Illinois University

5.5%

Schoolcraft College

5.5%

New York University

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.9%

Ohio State University

4.9%

California State University - Northridge

4.9%

University of North Texas

4.4%

Webster University

4.4%

University of Southern California

4.4%

University of Utah

4.4%

DePaul University

4.4%

Central Connecticut State University

4.4%

Strayer University

4.4%

University of Arizona

4.4%

Michigan State University

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%
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Majors

Business

36.7%

Finance

13.3%

Accounting

6.9%

Management

5.4%

Marketing

4.3%

Insurance

4.2%

Economics

3.4%

Real Estate

3.2%

Psychology

2.8%

Communication

2.6%

English

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Computer Science

1.8%

Education

1.8%

Political Science

1.8%

Mathematics

1.8%

General Studies

1.6%

Nursing

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

History

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.5%

Masters

16.2%

Associate

11.6%

High School Diploma

10.8%

Certificate

5.2%

License

1.5%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.9%
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Updated May 18, 2020