Despite being a successful industry, the US insurance sector is struggling to find enough qualified people for open job positions. A recent analysis from The Jacobson Group and Aon, two prominent companies in insurance recruitment, has revealed that there are a record number of job vacancies that remain unfilled.
This talent shortage is not a new problem, but according to Greg Jacobson, the co-CEO of the recruitment firm, the situation has become even more challenging. He mentioned, “We are in an extreme situation where there’s not a lot of talent available, but this is not really unusual for our industry. Generally, we are keeping it in a range bound by 2 to 3%.”
The report also highlights that insurance companies in the US employ around 1.56 million people, which is a decrease of approximately 85,000 from the figures in 2020, according to the biannual insurance labor market report.
Jacobson also pointed out that although layoffs in the larger financial services industry are at a 10-year low, the situation is different when it comes to employees leaving their jobs voluntarily. The number of people quitting their jobs has reached its highest point in a decade.
According to Jeff Rieder, a partner at Aon and the head of its subsidiary Ward Inc., over the past 10 years, most insurance companies typically experienced an 8% to 9% staff turnover rate, which includes both voluntary and involuntary departures. However, currently, many insurers are facing a higher turnover rate, ranging between 12% and 15%.
What are the benefits of choosing a career in insurance?
The study reveals that 68% of insurance companies plan to hire more staff in the next year, marking a 12% increase from the previous year. This growth is attributed to the expected increase in business volume.
In the competitive landscape of the insurance industry, individuals seeking a career in insurance can find abundant job opportunities. One Inc, an insurtech firm specializing in digital payments, highlights several reasons why working in the insurance field is a great choice:
- Diverse Opportunities: The insurance industry offers a wide range of professional roles beyond traditional positions like agents, adjusters, and underwriters. Opportunities span areas such as accounting, customer service, marketing, IT, legal, sales, communication, research, data analytics, investigation, finance, actuarial work, management, and human resources.
- Career Advancement: Insurance careers provide room for growth in almost every role, enabling professionals to continually develop new skills and progress in their careers.
- Continuing Education: Due to the ever-evolving nature of the industry, employees are encouraged to pursue educational opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills, with some companies offering financial assistance.
- Dynamic Work Environment: Insurance is a dynamic field that presents different challenges each day.
- Flexibility: Many insurers have adapted to changing work trends, offering flexible working arrangements, including remote work.
- Job Security: As long as people engage in activities like owning homes, driving vehicles, running businesses, seeking medical treatment, or requiring financial protection, the demand for insurance remains constant.
- Work-Life Balance: Insurers are making efforts to ensure employees have ample time for interests outside of work, which has been shown to increase workplace productivity.
- Earning Potential & Benefits: The insurance industry provides a competitive salary with high potential for growth.
- Challenging & Rewarding Work: Insurance professionals regularly face a variety of challenges, providing opportunities to solve problems and be innovative, leading to a sense of fulfillment.
- Making a Difference: Insurance professionals have the chance to make a positive impact by helping individuals, families, and communities overcome hardships.
What are the best-paying jobs in the US insurance sector?
The insurance labor market study highlights that the most challenging roles to fill in the insurance industry are in technology, actuarial, analytics, claims, and underwriting. Almost every surveyed company reported that these positions are more difficult to fill now compared to the previous year, except for executive roles.
Jeff Rieder mentioned that insurers are increasing pay for existing employees to prevent salary compression and inequity. This has led many companies to make mid-year market adjustments to salaries. While most companies budgeted for a 3.5% to 4% increase in merit, the actual trend year-over-year is around 5%.
To determine which insurance careers pay the most, ZipRecruiter, a job-posting service website, generated “compensation estimates” for each role, considering factors such as job title, location, and the hiring company. However, these figures represent a base compensation range and do not account for years of experience, benefits, bonuses, or other factors that may influence individual compensation rates.
According to ZipRecruiter, here are the top two highest-paying jobs in the insurance industry along with their annual salary ranges:
- Annual Salary Range: $93,000 to $173,000
- Description: Consulting actuaries provide accounting and risk-assessment advice to clients. This role requires several years of experience in the actuarial field, along with skills in financial audits and risk modeling. Consulting actuaries can work for large consulting agencies or as freelancers.
Life Insurance Actuary
- Annual Salary Range: $67,000 to $150,000
- Description: Life insurance actuaries help determine pricing for life insurance policies to minimize costs and risks. Their responsibilities include assessing client risks, conducting financial analysis, and creating reports for salespeople and management. To pursue a career as a life insurance actuary, individuals should have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, actuarial science, or a related field, along with a professional actuary certification.
- Annual Salary Range: $99,500 to $149,500
- Description: Pricing actuaries, who work in financial services, including insurance, are statisticians responsible for determining the price of products. They calculate risks and analyze data to ensure the coverage of company expenses, such as claims or employee retirement costs. Actuaries in this role require strong analytical and computer skills, along with a bachelor’s degree in math, statistics, or actuarial science.
- Annual Salary Range: $111,500 to $142,500
- Description: Actuaries play a crucial role in pricing insurance policies and advising corporations on meeting regulatory standards and managing capital. Their responsibilities also involve daily communication with clients and programming or implementing risk management software. Actuaries can specialize in one of four areas: property and casualty (P&C), life, health, or pension.
Automotive Finance Manager
- Annual Salary Range: $97,500 to $141,500
- Description: Automotive finance managers oversee the financing process for new and used vehicles. They create sales training programs and ensure that all transactions comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
- Annual Salary Range: $92,000 to $125,500
- Description: Underwriting managers are responsible for overseeing the daily operations and administrative tasks of the underwriting department within an insurance company. Their duties involve assisting underwriters in reviewing applications, establishing screening protocols, and developing new methodologies and models to assess the financial risk of clients.
- Annual Salary Range: $87,500 to $121,000
- Description: Casualty underwriters evaluate commercial and personal insurance policy applications. Their responsibilities include analyzing property statistics, reviewing applicant histories, financial statuses, and employment records to ensure that premiums can be met. They also monitor and assess existing policies.
- Annual Salary Range: $75,500 to $116,000
- Description: Health actuaries, employed by healthcare organizations and insurance companies, analyze healthcare data and marketplace trends. They determine future financial and strategic plans, prepare rate files, review plan reserves, interpret medical patterns for new risks and opportunities, and generate reports from aggregate health plan data collected from national databases.
- Annual Salary Range: $75,000 to $115,500
- Description: Claims directors manage the daily operations of an insurance claims department. Their duties involve establishing uniform policies on insurance coverage and claims for various situations, ensuring customers receive outstanding service.
- Annual Salary Range: $43,000 to $114,000
- Description: General adjusters analyze incidents to determine the financial liability of the insurance company. Their responsibilities include researching property or physical damage related to insurance claims, assessing the cause of the incident, evaluating the extent of the damage, and estimating the cost of repairs. This role requires investigative research experience and interpersonal skills.