How to Hire a Underwriter

Does your growing business need an underwriter? Underwriters assess the financial risk of a client before a loan or insurance policy is approved.

Here are some tips to help you find great underwriter candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Underwriters searching for jobs on Indeed*

130,135

job seekers that clicked underwriter jobs

20,173

resumes for job seekers with underwriter experience on Indeed

5,593

underwriter jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring an underwriter?

  • Common salary in US: $79,356 per year
  • Typical salaries range from $23,000$167,000 per year
  • Find more information on Indeed Salaries
Common
 
 
$23,000
$167,000

*Indeed data (US) – December 2020

As of December 2020, underwriter jobs in the US are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 23 job seekers per underwriter job.

Why hire an underwriter?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great underwriter hire can help your business by:

  • Investigating client assets to make an assessment of the potential ROI
  • Conducting risk assessments based on relevant histories
  • Requesting additional information from loan officers or insurance providers when needed

What are the different types of underwriters?

When you want to hire an underwriter it’s important to understand the type of underwriter you need. Each type of underwriter typically specializes in a certain area (e.g., real estate, insurance). Here are some of the most common types of underwriters:

  • Credit analyst: Identifies the risks involved in loaning funds based on a client’s credit history.
  • Insurance underwriter: Instead of analyzing the risks of loaning money, insurance underwriters analyze the risks associated with insuring people and assets.
  • Junior underwriter: Works under the supervision of an underwriter to investigate loan eligibility and grant/deny loans. The often receive on-the-job training as they perform tasks.
  • Mortgage underwriter: Focuses specifically on assessing loan applications for real estate purchases.

Where to find underwriters

To find the right underwriter for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Hire from within: If any of your current employees meet the qualifications for your underwriter role, consider hiring from within. Not only do your current employees already understand your business, but hiring internally can also boost team morale and employee satisfaction.
  • Ask for referrals: Ask your network if they know anyone who would be good fit for your underwriter role.
  • Get involved in professional associations: There are many state and local underwriting associations (e.g., Group Underwriters Association of America, National Association of Mortgage Underwriters). With a membership, you can often access directories of members who meet your underwriter hiring criteria. 
  • Post your job online: Try posting your underwriter job on Indeed to find and attract quality underwriter candidates.

Skills to look for in a great underwriter

A great underwriter candidate will have the following skills, attributes and work experience that reflects:

  • Current underwriter certification
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Experience with transactions and real estate
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Superior organizational skills
  • Knowledge of regulatory issues

Writing an underwriter job description

Writing a thoughtful description can help you find qualified underwriter candidates. An underwriter job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities, and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your underwriter job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on underwriter jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Underwriter
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Credit analyst
  • Mortgage underwriter
  • Remote work from home
  • Underwriting
  • Government
  • Mortgage

Interviewing underwriter candidates

After reviewing the resumes of your top underwriter applicants, schedule interviews to learn more about them. Strong candidates for underwriter positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

  • Assessing the risk associated with clients or properties
  • Researching project costs for property renovations
  • Rendering application decisions based on management consultation

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of underwriter interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an underwriter

What is the difference between an underwriter and a loan officer?

Underwriters determine loan or insurance eligibility based on factors like applicant income, credit history, debt ratios, savings and more. Loan officers are in a more client-facing role, working with people to help them get their loan approved, which often involves collecting the right paperwork, helping clients choose the right loan and preparing loan applications. 

How do I choose between two good underwriter candidates?

During the hiring process, you may find yourself stuck choosing between two great underwriter candidates. How do you choose the right one for your business? If skills and work experience are relatively similar between the two candidates, other factors to consider include personality, culture add and industry expertise. For example, one underwriter candidate may have experience analyzing mortgage loan risks in your specific city, while the other may not. Additionally, one underwriter candidate may bring a more diverse set of experiences to the role. 

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021