Insurance and Pensions Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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There are a wide variety of careers available for graduates in the pensions and insurance sector and, with recent regulatory changes and government legislation in the area of financial services, the number of jobs is set to increase. Changes to company pensions, for instance, will mean that businesses require more advisors and consultants.

Graduates working in insurance can choose one of two core areas - insurance policy work or sales. Policy work could involve assessing insurance claims, surveying risk and underwriting policies. Loss adjusters work in the industry as independent specialists and are often called upon to investigate complex or difficult claims after damage or destruction to property.

They often examine the scene of an incident to establish the causes and decide whether or not it is covered by the insurance policy. Loss adjusters deal with everything from factories destroyed by fires to financial theft or fraud so the job is very varied and offers an interesting career path. The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA) is a good source of professional information.

The investigative nature of loss adjusting means that professionals working in this area often spend a significant amount of time out of the office, travelling to and visiting incident scenes. Loss adjusters have to be ready to respond to emergencies, so some evening and weekend work is possible and international travel may be necessary.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

If you want to work in either insurance or pensions, it helps to have a relevant degree. Some of the subjects you can take include:

  • Mathematics
  • Business and management
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

These degrees provide the building blocks needed to get into a career in insurance and pensions, but in order to progress you will have to continuously take professional qualifications throughout your career.

It is worth noting that it is possible to get a graduate job in insurance and pensions with almost any degree, providing you have the necessary employability skills and desire to take further qualifications.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

Graduate jobs in insurance and pensions require you to have a great attention to detail and the ability to analyse data efficiently. Many roles are customer facing, so communication skills and the ability to sell your products are also important. Some of the skills you will have to demonstrate include:

There are also other important skills that you will need to display, especially if you are in an authority position or become a senior manager:

What graduate insurance and pensions job can I do? TOP ^

Although not the most glamorous sector, a job in the insurance and pensions sector provides security and a good salary. Some graduate jobs in insurance and pensions include:

  • Chartered loss adjuster
  • Actuary
  • Insurance account manager
  • Insurance broker
  • Pension consultant
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Pension scheme manager

There are several large insurance companies in the UK offering graduate programmes and training to university students. If you are serious about getting into the sector, you should consider signing up to the Pensions Management Institute (PMI), which is the professional body aimed at those working in the pensions field. Membership of a professional body will help you as you progress throughout your career.

For graduates interested in a career in pensions, it is possible to secure an entry-level role as a pensions administrator or consultant. Pensions administrators look after group and personal pension plans in a variety of settings. They may work on an in-house company pensions scheme or for an insurance company, administration service or consultancy, or they could be employed by a public sector pensions provider or a bank or building society.

Consultants offer pensions services and solutions to businesses and, in light of recent legislative changes, they are in higher demand than ever.

Average insurance and pensions salariesTOP ^

Salaries in the insurance and pensions sector can be high at the senior level, with salaries of £100,000 plus not uncommon for top level managers. Starting salaries for graduates are good too, averaging out at around £20,000.

  • Loss adjuster: £20,000 - £60,000
  • Insurance broker: £15,000 - £100,000
  • Pension adviser: £15,000 - £120,000
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