Question: I'm 29 years old, and have been out of college for about 8 years now. I possess a BBA in Business Information Management, and have worked as a business insurance underwriter for about 4 years. I'm considering a change, but feel as though I've blackballed myself from transitioning to another career/industry due to my expertise. Also, another concern is staying within my current salary band with the transition. I'm comfortable with face-to-face interaction, speaking to large groups, and traveling. Quite frankly, I'm seeking a change because I feel so restricted in the office environment especially considering I have an athletic background and even worked in the fitness and retail industries prior to my current career. Considering these things, what industries/careers do you think would meet my interests and provide a lateral financial transition?
During a career change, in order to stay within the same general pay range, you should use your past experience to build on. In other words, the position that you change to should be in the same career progression or lateral move for an insurance underwriter.
While I don't see any lateral positions related to underwriting that will provide you the physical activity that the fitness industry would, there are a couple that would get you out of the office more.
Working environments of insurance claims adjusters, appraisers, and investigators vary greatly. Many claims adjusters and auto damage appraisers often work outside the office, inspecting damaged buildings and automobiles. Adjusters who inspect damaged buildings must be wary of potential hazards, such as collapsed roofs and floors, as well as weakened structures.
Some adjusters report to the office every morning to get their assignments, while others simply call in from home and spend their days traveling to claim sites. Occasionally, experienced adjusters must be away from home for days—for example, when they travel to the scene of a disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, or flood—to work with local adjusters and government officials.
Appraisers spend much of their time offsite at automotive body shops estimating vehicle damage costs. The remaining time may be spent working in the office. Many independent appraisers work from home, as continually improving valuation software has made estimating damage easier and more routine. Auto damage appraisers typically work regular hours, and rarely work on the weekends. Self employed appraisers also have the flexibility to make their own hours, as many appraisals are done by appointment.
Some days, investigators will spend all day in the office, searching databases, making telephone calls, and writing reports. Other times, they may be away, performing surveillance activities or interviewing witnesses. Some of the work can involve disagreements with claimants, so the job can be stressful and potentially confrontational. Insurance investigators often work irregular hours because of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who are not available during normal working hours. Early morning, evening, and weekend work is common.
Median annual wages of wage and salary claims adjusters, and investigators were $55,760 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,400 and $70,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $84,260.
Median annual wages of wage and salary auto damage insurance appraisers were $53,440 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $43,990 and $63,180. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,500, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $73,210.
Many claims adjusters, especially those who work for insurance companies, receive additional bonuses or benefits as part of their job. Adjusters are often furnished with a laptop computer, a smart phone, and a company car, or are reimbursed for the use of their own vehicle for business purposes.
The bes job outlook for the future is as an Insurance Adjuster for the Health Insurance industry.