One of the tenets of insurance is precaution, so if you’re considering a career in insurance, it’s a good idea to get as much information on the types of insurance jobs available as possible, as well as the qualifications you need to succeed in the industry, before you commit yourself to any long-term plans. There are a range of insurance-related jobs out there of varying complexity.
The jobs cater to various skill sets, so if you’re a people-person and are naturally friendly and outgoing, you might consider something in sales. But if you prefer spending your days with your nose buried in data then becoming an actuary might be up your alley.
Insurance careers available
Insurance brokers are the middle-men than many direct insurance companies keep trying to cut out, but they serve a very important intermediary role between policy holders and insurance companies. For example, they are usually more readily available in an emergency than your insurance company and can help speed up emergency arrangements. They also review policies and insurance developments so they can give current advice to their clients. And, because they often act independently, they can get their clients the best deal without being bound to a particular insurance company or product.
The salary range for insurance brokers is wide. PayScale puts salaries at between $29,500 and $75,200. Your end of the scale will depend on whether you’re in an entry level or junior position or whether your experience in the insurance industry gives you all the privileges associated with senior rank.
Salary also depends on your qualifications. For example, if you’re still studying part-time or only have a diploma in insurance then you can’t expect to land high-paying jobs. Graduates with bachelor’s or master’s insurance degrees, however, can expect their careers to soar.
Courses available include:
- Certificate III in Insurance Broking, which provides the basics for entry level jobs in the industry.
- Diploma of Insurance Broking, which provides further information on risk assessment within a client’s portfolio, implementing policy changes and renewing policies.
- Bachelor of Business (Insurance), which will provide you with a great foundation to work in insurance, including risk assessment, claims management, underwriting management, and insurance law and regulation.
Actuaries play a very important role in insurance; they evaluate financial risks and provide advice on minimising said risks and maximising returns. Their complex jobs require a thorough understanding of statistics, probability theory and mathematics, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. Insurance actuaries work with statistics and data that help determine the risk of insuring a specific person based on their profile – how likely they are to be involved in a traffic collision, whether their lifestyles place them at greater risk of injury and whether the location of their house makes them vulnerable to break-ins.
Actuaries are well rewarded for all their hard work (and hard study). PayScale says that insurance actuaries in Australia earn between $52,200 and $157,700, and they can earn up to $200,000. Even entry level jobs for insurance actuaries are higher than senior positions in other careers. Salaries also depend on where actuaries work. For example, consultants tend to earn more money than insurance actuaries employed by one firm, but they also tend to work longer hours.
If you have your eye on the long term, here are some courses you might want to consider:
- Bachelor of Science (Actuarial Science), which prepares graduates for insurance careers through statistical analysis, risk and survival analysis, economics, computing and corporate finance.
- Bachelor of Actuarial Studies, which provides the information necessary for graduates to work in general and health insurance, and life insurance.
- Bachelor of Commerce (Actuarial Studies/Bachelor of Economics, which provides a double whammy that allows graduates to take the insurance world by storm.
- Master of Actuarial Practice, which is actually for those who have no real background or experience in actuarial science, but who want to boost their qualifications so that they can enter the high-earning world inhabited by insurance actuaries.
Claims adjustors are the people who assess the circumstances around insurance claims and decide whether and how much claimants are to be paid out. They’ll assess the damage to a car, the extent of injury, and the security at a house to see if all the policy requirements have been met and to see if the insurance company is bound to honour the claim. They interview all relevant parties, including doctors, police officers and witnesses to determine the veracity of claims.
They can work specifically for insurance companies but they can also work for themselves on a consultant or contract basis – which, arguably, makes them more objective.
Claims adjustors sit very pretty, financially-speaking. They don’t earn quite as much as actuaries but, according to PayScale, they can top $92,000 – $97,000.
Courses available include:
- Certificate IV in Personal Injury Management (Claims Management), which helps with claims analysis, personal injury management and dispute resolution.
- Master of Management (Personal Injury), which sets up graduates for successful careers in insurance claims management.
This is a small sample of the myriad insurance jobs available in Australia. You’ll find online, part-time and full-time insurance courses and degrees right across the country, from Sydney (NSW) and Melbourne (VIC) to Canberra (ACT) and Perth (WA). Search our site to find insurance courses that match your career goals.