Facts + Statistics: Careers and employment

Insurance industry employment

The insurance industry is a major U.S. employer, providing some 2.7 million jobs that encompass a wide variety of careers, including engineering and data science, human resources, public relations and financial analysts. Some jobs, such as claims adjusters, actuaries and insurance underwriters, are unique to the insurance industry. But other roles are also needed, such as art historians and drone pilots, for example. For further information consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, which includes these entries:​

Employment In Insurance, 2009-2018

(Annual averages, 000)

  Insurance carriers Insurance agencies, brokerages and related services  
  Direct insurers (1)            
Year Life and
health (2)
Reinsurers Total Insurance
and brokers
activities (3)
Total Total
2009 802.8 632.9 27.5 1,463.2 653.3 254.2 907.4 2,370.6
2010 804.1 614.3 26.8 1,445.2 642.3 253.1 895.5 2,340.6
2011 788.9 611.6 25.6 1,426.1 649.2 261.1 910.3 2,336.4
2012 811.3 599.5 25.7 1,436.5 659.6 272.3 931.8 2,368.3
2013 813.2 593.7 26.2 1,433.1 672.3 283.5 955.8 2,388.9
2014 829.0 594.7 25.1 1,448.8 720.0 297.1 1,017.1 2,465.8
2015 829.8 611.6 25.1 1,466.5 762.8 309.1 1,071.8 2,538.3
2016 818.9 643.5 25.3 1,487.7 783.5 321.5 1,105.0 2,592.7
2017 850.4 639.7 26.6 1,516.7 809.6 333.3 1,142.9 2,659.6
2018 870.6 621.8 29.1 1,521.5 825.2 343.7 1,168.9 2,690.4

(1) Establishments primarily engaged in initially underwriting insurance policies.
(2) Includes establishments engaged in underwriting annuities, life insurance and health and medical insurance policies.
(3) Includes claims adjusters, third-party administrators of insurance funds and other service personnel such as advisory and insurance ratemaking services.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Women in insurance

Women have comprised about 60 percent of the insurance industry workforce in each year from 2009 to 2018, according to the Current Population Survey (CPS), an annual survey of business establishments in private industry conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2018, there were 1.7 million women employed in the insurance sector, accounting for 60 percent of the 2.8 million workers in the insurance industry.

The percentage of women varies widely by occupation. The percentage of women workers in selected insurance occupations ranges from 51 percent of insurance sales agents to 83 percent of insurance claims and policy clerks in 2018. In 2018, women accounted for 47 percent of all workers, based on households in the CPS survey.

Women In Insurance, 2018


Occupation Total employed (000) Percent of women in that occupation
Insurance sales agents 619 51.4%
Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators 344 57.4
Insurance claims and policy processing clerks 244 82.5
Insurance underwriters 119 59.7
Actuaries 33 (1)

(1) Data not shown where base is less than 50,000.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey. http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm

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Percent Of Female Workers In The U.S. Workforce And Selected Insurance Occupations, 2018


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.

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Diversity in the workplace

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has information on diversity in the workplace by industry, including insurance, at http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat18.htm. It has information on diversity by occupation, including insurance sales agents, claims adjusters, insurance claims and policy processing clerks, insurance underwriters and actuaries posted at http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm.

Home workers

The number of people working remotely is on the rise. In 2016 43 percent of workers said that they spent at least some of their time working in a location different form their coworkers, up from 39 percent in 2012 according to a Gallup poll.

In 2010, 5.8 million, or 4.3 percent, of the U.S. workforce worked the majority of the week at home, an increase of about 1.6 million workers since 2000, according to an October 2012 report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of all workers who worked at least one day at home increased from 7.0 percent in 1997 to 9.5 percent in 2010. The data are reported in Home-Based Workers in the United States: 2010, which contains findings from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the American Community Survey. Key findings include:

  • Metro areas in the Southeast, Southwest and West had the largest percentage of workers who worked from home.
  • Although nearly half of home-based workers were self-employed, government workers saw the largest increase in home-based work over the last decade. Home-based workers increased 133 percent among state government workers and 88 percent among federal government workers.
  • About one in 10 people who worked exclusively from home were 65 and older in 2010.
  • About one-fourth of home-based workers were in management, business and financial occupations.
  • Home-based workers in computer, engineering and science occupations increased by 69 percent between 2000 and 2010.

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