Insurance jobs typically involve one of three tasks: sales, underwriting and claims management.
It's the insurance brokers' and insurance sales agents' job to find new customers and keep the company's current customers by convincing them to renew their policies.
Underwriters use technology to score insurance applications, decide which customers should be given insurance policies and set prices.
Claims adjusters, appraisers and claims examiners help customers file claims and calculate how much the insurance company should pay for each claim.
Insurance Job Market
Insurance is an industry that grows and shrinks along with the economy.
Job growth for insurance sales agents will rise 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says. That's faster than the average occupation. Insurance sales agents working for independent firms will be most in demand. Agents selling health and long-term care insurance should also find plenty of insurance employment.
Jobs for underwriters will rise only 6 percent from 2010 to 2020, because technology is now doing tasks human underwriters used to do, the BLS says. Underwriting jobs in health insurance will have better employment growth.
Jobs for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators will grow slower than the average occupation, only 3 percent between 2010 and 2020, with much of the growth coming in the health insurance industry, the BLS reports.
If the trend toward more frequent natural disasters continues, employment for property and casualty insurance examiners might increase, the BLS says. However, insurance job opportunities for auto-damage appraisers will decline 8 percent between 2010 and 2020 because increasing car safety is reducing the number of car accidents, the BLS reports.
Insurance underwriter is among the best-paying insurance career, with a 2011 median salary of $60,830, the BLS says. The best-paid 10 percent earned $107,460.
Claims adjuster is another well-paying job in insurance, with a median salary of $59,320 in 2011. The median insurance sales agent salary was $47,450 in 2011.