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Become An Underwriter

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Working As An Underwriter

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

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $69,627

    Average Salary

What Does An Underwriter Do

An Underwriter’s job is to review insurance applications for compliance and evaluate clients’ background information and financial status. They are also responsible for assessing the risk in insurance contracts.

How To Become An Underwriter

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


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. 


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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Underwriter jobs

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Real Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Underwriter, Weather and Energy Westport Insurance Corporation New York, NY Jun 21, 2016 $220,000 -
Regional Casualty Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Miami, FL Apr 03, 2015 $183,600
Regional Casualty Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Miami, FL Aug 04, 2015 $180,000
Program Underwriter R-T Specialty, LLC Glendale, CA Oct 24, 2011 $175,000
Lead Underwriter and Arranger Royal Bank of Canada New York, NY Jul 27, 2015 $170,000
Regional Casualty Underwriter Berkley Latin America Underwriting Managers LLC Jacksonville, FL Apr 03, 2012 $150,000 -
Regional Casualty Underwriter Berkley Latin America Underwriting Managers LLC Miami, FL Jun 11, 2012 $150,000 -
Regional Casualty Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Miami, FL May 20, 2013 $150,000 -
Regional Casualty Underwriter Berkley Insurance Company Miami, FL May 15, 2013 $150,000 -
Underwriter Atrium Risk Management Services (Washington) Ltd. San Francisco, CA Oct 18, 2015 $135,000
Underwriter Westport Insurance Corporation New York, NY Nov 18, 2016 $130,000 -
Underwriter Westport Insurance Corporation New York, NY Aug 19, 2016 $120,515 -
Facultative Underwriter Validus Services, Inc. Groveland, FL Sep 01, 2011 $90,000
Underwriter 4 Suntrust Banks, Inc. Orlando, FL Oct 13, 2011 $87,000
Underwriter AXA Insurance Company New York, NY Sep 01, 2012 $85,000
Treaty Underwriter (Reinsurance) Swiss Re America Holding Corporation Miami, FL Jun 12, 2012 $85,000
Treaty Underwriter Swiss Re America Holding Corporation Armonk, NY Jan 01, 2011 $85,000
Treaty Underwriter (Reinsurance) Swiss Re America Holding Corporation Miami, FL Apr 03, 2012 $85,000
Underwriter II The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Cincinnati, OH Oct 04, 2013 $83,400
Excess Umbrella Underwriter Nations Builders Insurance Services, Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 22, 2012 $69,000
Market Facing Underwriter II Zurich American Insurance Company New York, NY Dec 02, 2013 $68,100
Underwriter FORA Financial, LLC New York, NY Sep 17, 2014 $67,431
Underwriter Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc. Boston, MA Aug 27, 2014 $66,125
Underwriter Hiscox Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 13, 2015 $66,000
Production Underwriter Affiliated FM Insurance Company Plano, TX Oct 01, 2012 $65,478 -
Underwriter Funding Circle USA Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 08, 2016 $65,000
Underwriter Odyssey Reinsurance Company Miami, FL Sep 24, 2015 $65,000 -

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Top Skills for An Underwriter


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Top Underwriter Skills

  1. Investor Guidelines
  2. Income Documentation
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Approved and Denied first and second mortgages according to investor guidelines.
  • Reviewed credit, income documentation, appraisal and title documents necessary to decision completed file.
  • Underwrite loans to ensure compliance with lenders and investors standards.
  • Prepare a weekly report for account ability of supplemental FHA claims.
  • Analyze credit reports and financial documentation to classify and qualify loans according to company guidelines.

Top Underwriter Employers

Underwriter Videos

The Role of a Mortgage Underwriter

Career: Insurance Underwriter

How To Work As An Insurance Underwriter