Why You Should Consider a Career in Insurance

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Success in insurance is attainable for just about anyone who wants to work hard.

When asked what they want to be when they grow up, how many first-graders say “claims adjuster”? What about “actuary”? Or “underwriter”?

Anything to do with insurance likely never crosses their minds. Even as they get older, most people don't gravitate specifically toward a career in insurance. As I have heard from numerous colleagues, the majority of people in our industry either have family in insurance or they fall into it by accident.

While a career in insurance is moving up in the minds of some young people entering the workforce (in part, thanks to the many colleges and universities now offering degree programs in insurance and risk management), it still has a long way to go. As older generation contine to retire, the need for an influx of fresh talent into the insurance industry has never been greater. Fortunately, a career in insurance can offer young people exactly what they are looking for in a career: success, rewards and fulfillment.

Success in insurance is attainable for just about anyone who wants to work hard. The majority of positions in insurance can be done by someone from any type of academic background. (I personally have a degree in political science.) For those with more specialized degrees, positions are available for you as well.

For example, do you have a degree in nursing? You could be a nurse case manager for an insurance carrier claims department. How about criminology or criminal justice? You could be a special investigator. If you majored in math, you may want to try tackling a career as an actuary. Of course, carriers and large agencies also employ a number of people in finance, accounting, marketing and occupational safety and as staff attorneys.

No matter your academic background, you can almost assuredly find a perfect fit in the insurance industry where you can use the education you already have to become successful.

An insurance career can also be very rewarding in terms of providing both good compensation and a feeling of accomplishment.

Insurance is a method of risk financing, and I have always thought of insurance as the backbone of a free market society. It allows individuals and businesses to take risks they might not otherwise be willing to take, helping us move forward as a society.

When something does go wrong, that promise to pay is there — and it is rewarding to know that you can be a part of that safety net for your customers. You also have an opportunity to earn a great salary working for an insurance carrier, in addition to great benefits. If you work for an agency, your compensation is most likely tied to sales, so the sky is the limit.

Most people are looking for a career where they can succeed in their current role, get involved, continuously learn and move up. Our industry has a number of professional organizations where members can network and take on leadership roles, and the vast majority of these organizations offer ways to volunteer and give back to the local community.

For those of you who love lifelong learning, our industry also offers an array of professional designations to broaden your knowledge, usually requiring passage of college-level exams. Most companies support employees attaining these designations and offer incentives for them to do so.

While it is important to take into account all of the above factors, most people will tell you to do something you love. You would be hard-pressed not to find something in the insurance industry you could love doing for the rest of your life — but the best part is, you can always move around to a different function and try something new. In fact, many companies encourage their employees to gain additional experience in other functions.

If you are looking for a successful, rewarding and fulfilling career, insure your career: consider joining the insurance industry.

Nick is a 2009 graduate of Marquette University, with a Bachelor’s degree in political science. He currently works as a commercial lines underwriter in Wisconsin.