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Underwriting Certification and Certificate Programs

Get details about certificate programs in underwriting. Read about courses taken in these programs and professional certification in this field. Take a look at employment and salary statistics for insurance underwriters.

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Essential Information

Certificates specifically in underwriting are rare, and many times, underwriting is a skill learned in a broader insurance or business certificate program. In either case, certificates consist of 1-10 courses and can often be completed online. Students in underwriting certificate programs learn how to evaluate risk and set specific terms for insurance contracts. Certificates in underwriting do not usually have prerequisites beyond a high school diploma or GED unless they are offered within undergraduate business degrees.

Program Coursework

Coursework often focuses on specific skills, like contract writing, business evaluation and negotiation. Most, if not all, of the coursework in this program takes place in the classroom. Here are some classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Risk management
  • Risk factors
  • Business evaluation
  • Contracts
  • Insurance policies

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicts that the employment of insurance underwriters will increase only six percent between 2010 and 2020. This slower than average growth is mostly due to gradual replacement of some of the duties of an underwriter to technology and computer software systems. Underwriters earned a median annual salary of $62,870 as of May 2012. The 10% lowest-paid underwriters earned less than $40,000 while the highest-paid 10% made upwards of $100,000 according to the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education

The Insurance Institute of America offers programs that equip students with advanced knowledge in specialized areas and result in designations (not certifications). For example, The Institute offers the designation of Associate in Commercial Underwriting (ACU) and an Associate in Personal Insurance (API). These designations are earned after completing a series of exams; the exams may take up to two years to complete.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics