Why Working in the Insurance Industry is a Good Career Move

Mountain scene with text that says "Insurance. It's Limitless."

Why would you want to work in the insurance sector? To most people, working in insurance sounds likely to be boring. But in reality, the insurance industry is a very large and diverse field, supporting many career paths that may not immediately come to mind.

And for motivated individuals, there’s no shortage of potential for advancement. But what are the pros and cons of working in insurance, and what kind of opportunities can you find in the industry?

A Day in the Insurance Life: What’s It Like?

What is it like working for an insurance company? That’s a tough question to answer because the insurance industry is a big tent. It requires a variety of diverse talents to function, so of course the typical workday for an insurance agent won’t be the same as a data analyst.

That’s part of the reason why different kinds of insurance careers are suitable for different kinds of personalities and skill sets. For example, an actuary works with computers and math to calculate premiums and determine rates. This kind of work can often be done fairly independently, making it a good choice for introverts.

But what if you like working with people? A customer service representative is someone who’s persistently in contact with others, helping clients solve their problems. Likewise, an insurance agent regularly works with people to help them find the most appropriate plan for their individual needs. Those positions might be a traditional 9-5 job working for a company, or as an independent agent, granting you considerable control over your schedule. 

Like a challenge? A claims investigator is like a detective who determines the validity of insurance claims, and helps people who have been victims in an accident. Risk managers perform a similar job, using strategy and planning to identify risks and create solutions to head-off problems. Both of them require teamwork and collaboration to thrive.

And some positions mix many of these elements together. For instance, an underwriter will make decisions about people’s insurance needs, develop relationships with brokers, and evaluate risk on behalf of a company. That makes underwriting a mixture of puzzle-solving, independent work opportunities, and chances for teamwork.

Is There Room to Move Up?

Like many other industries, the insurance industry is full of baby boomers who are rapidly approaching the age of retirement. Some estimates suggest that one third of the people in the industry are 55 or older. And this presents a unique opportunity for people who are looking to develop a career in insurance.

You also have the opportunity to learn from industry veterans before they retire. Between that experience, and the imminent wave of retirement occurring over the next decade or so, it’s clear that insurance is a good career for people looking for career advancement opportunities.

The Top Reasons People Like Working in Insurance

What it’s like working for an insurance company will depend on how you balance the pros and cons of working in insurance against your own needs. Because people have all kinds of different priorities, values, and personalities. But some of the most common things people find attractive about the industry include:

  1. It’s rewarding. Insurance is a chance to provide essential support to people who need it. Whatever area of insurance you enter; you’re going to be involved with helping people in their time of need.
  2. It can be challenging. Insurance is a good career for people who are always looking for new challenges. The industry is always changing, and there are always new puzzles to solve.
  3. Good work/life balance. Many insurance careers allow for flexibility in your scheduling. This allows you to avoid burnout, and balance other life responsibilities instead of having to make your job into your life. 
  4. It’s lucrative. The industry offers competitive compensation to retain talented workers, and in addition to opportunities for advancement, many insurance careers have competitive base pay.

How Do People Get Started in Insurance?

Not many people attend school with the intention of starting an insurance career. In fact, the industry is full of people who came in from another industry or otherwise changed careers. Part of the reason why is because the industry benefits from a wide range of talent, and entry level positions are accessible to almost anyone.

Though mid-level positions usually require a college degree or several years of work experience, that experience doesn’t have to be related to the insurance field. Almost any good work experience can help demonstrate you’re motivated and worth training. However, as is often the case, upper level positions often require a job-specific degree.

With so many different career paths to follow, figuring out your way to the most suitable career path can be tricky. But MyPath’s Career Wizard Tool can help. MyPath’s Blog also has a wealth of resources to guide you to successfully starting a career in the insurance industry.