In 2019, insurers are placing talent high up on their agendas. Talent in a growing digital age is in short supply during a time when many insurers are aiming to grow their businesses. As artificial intelligence and automation take over, the industry is highly focused on offering upper-tier employment opportunities for computer-savvy college grads entering the industry.
As baby boomers head towards retirement and technological complexities become the norm, the insurance industry is forced to find ways to acquire new talent capable of hitting the ground running and tackling changes in an advancing industry.
The dwindling talent pool has forced the insurance industry to reinvent their compensation and benefits packages to meet the expectations of new candidates in a modern world. Benefits packages are expanding to include additional “soft benefits,” or those that help promote a better work-life balance.
These include flexible work hours and location arrangements, generous paid time off, remote work, more internship opportunities, better healthcare, and continuing education opportunities. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an Entry Level Insurance Broker in the U.S. is $62,101.
Although the salary can be as much as $117,500, the general spread of salaries sits between $35,000 and $88,000. This may seem like a broad range, but it’s actually a fairly narrow margin, meaning that the ladder to climb in the industry is present, but not out of reach.
Although “soft benefits” are beginning to take a strong position in employment offers, salary is still the headliner of the employment package.
Average industry salaries
Insurance industry salaries vary based on skill set, but all offer a competitive salary.
- Inbound Sales Representatives can garner a salary range between $55,000 and $70,000.
- Underwriters make between $53,000 and $74,000.
- Knowledgeable Personal Insurance Account Managers with a knack for solving account issues, interpreting policies and making the best decisions for clients can bring in a salary between $85,000 and $110,000.
- Risk Analysts make salaries between $56,000 and $101,000 and can be a good option for those with good analytical skills. Achieving a management role could bring this salary as high as $126,000.
- Actuaries with strong mathematical skills and a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, or statistics can make a salary of $60,000 to $75,000
- Insurance Agency Owners can make anywhere between $40,000 a year to over $100,000, for those who have their eye eventually becoming a business owner.
The finance industry has a wider span of salaries and also offers competitive and reliable employment opportunities.
- Staff Accountants have an average salary of $41,000 to $60,000 a year.
- Bookkeepers can find solid, steady work between $33,000 and $56,000.
- Controllers collect hefty wages between $125,000 and $291,000.
- Financial Analysts have an average salary of $44,000 to $68,000.
- Internal Auditors make between $46,000 and $69,000.
- Payroll Specialistscollect $37,000 $57,000, with managers making between $66,000 and $113,000.
Although the future is uncertain and projections are only so reliable, some indicators paint a positive outlook for the insurance industry’s future success. If companies can adapt and leverage technological advancements, these adaptation strategies will pave a successful path towards a profitable future.
Regulatory and cybersecurity trends will continue to come into focus, requiring insurers to take a close look at business risks, hire wisely and stay ahead of the curve. Insurers will have to break the mold of traditional employment packages and learn to leverage technology in order to survive the talent crisis.
Timely and thoughtful action will create a market in which employers hire proactively, improve benefits and embrace new work trends in an emerging gig economy.
Taking a road less traveled
Most graduates head toward investment banking and other enticing jobs. But the insurance industry offers great benefits within a growing industry that has an increasing need for talent. The product line is solid, and these positions can often weather the ebb and flow of economic changes better than their finance counterparts.
The insurance industry is a great way to apply financial and business education and can also provide a healthy salary and a predictably successful career path.
The insurance industry has a reliable promotional ladder, with a solid future outlook. Graduates can find welcoming employers who are highly motivated to acquire talent and retain solid employees. Opportunities abound, and although the salary range may not be as broad as the finance sector, the reliability of these jobs can be compelling for those entering industry.
It’s also important to remember that entering the insurance industry does not preclude one from switching gears and pursuing a financial career in the future.