Investment underwriters work for financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies, and investment houses. The Department of Labor does not currently have employment information for investment underwriters, but does provide data regarding financial specialists (all others not listed). In May 2018, approximately 128,760 financial specialists were employed in the United States. Of those, about 9,450 work in the financial investment activities industry.
The job of investment underwriter requires several years of prior work experience. Most investment underwriters get a foot in the door through an internship while they are still in school. The first job is typically as an associate or junior investment underwriter. Ask your school's career services office for help finding internship and job listings in investment underwriter departments of banks or other financial institutions. Search the career sections of companies' Web sites to look for job listings. You may also find job listings and other useful resources through professional associations' Web sites, such as the Association for Financial Professionals, https://www.afponline.org/careers.
Investment underwriters with four or more years of experience advance to become senior underwriters, handling more complex projects and larger numbers of clients. Those with many years of experience may be promoted to managers and department heads. They are responsible for hiring and managing others and may also be involved in developing new clients for underwriting services. Advancement may also mean going back to school for a master's degree in investment banking or business management. Some underwriters share their knowledge by teaching and speaking at workshops and conferences offered by industry associations.
Tips for Entry
Get an internship or part-time job in a company that offers investment underwriting services. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship openings and job listings.
Attend industry-related conferences and events to meet others in the field and learn more about employment opportunities. Find calendar listings on professional associations' Web sites, such as Investments & Wealth Institute's "Conferences" page, https://investmentsandwealth.org/conferences-(1).
Visit the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors' Web site to check out the professional development webinars and videos that are geared to financial professionals at the start of their careers: https://www.naifa.org/professional-development/early-career--yat/177.
Keep up with industry trends and news by reading publications such as Advisor Today (https://www.naifa.org/news-publications/advisor-today) and the financial section of the Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/news/business/financial-services).