The most useful designations in the Insurance industry

Many insurance industry professionals struggle with their individual career development.  The insurance industry had historically strong training programs and career paths – so employees knew what to expect and how to plan their career.  However, most companies have discontinued these training programs due to expense concerns and realizing that others were poaching their talent after the expense of training.  The most useful designations in the insurance industry depend on your career path and goals in life.

As we previously discussed, the insurance industry has a long career progression.  Now young or mid level employees are constantly wondering….

What should I learn?  Where should I spend my time and what has the greatest return on investment?  What’s next?

I am not suggesting these credentials alone will replace real world experience, multiple renewals, product knowledge and expertise of business, hard/soft market cycles experience, and overall long term relationship growth  – these credentials will get you prepared for your future growth as a professional.  See  article Does “10,000 hour Rule” apply to careers in Insurance industry?

Below is a breakdown of some of the most useful designations in the insurance industry by Career path.  This is not an exhaustive list, just some of the top designations – if you disagree or have others to recommend please add to the comments below.

Underwriting Track

Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU)

Associate in Risk Management (ARM)

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU)

Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS)

Reinsurance Track

Master in Business Administration

Associate in Reinsurance (ARe)

Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF)

Risk Management Track

Associate in Risk Management (ARM)

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

Actuary Track



Claims Track

Associate in Claims (AIC)

Law degree

Independent Insurance Adjuster exams

Other Resources


As discussed in other articles, the insurance industry has tremendous amounts of data and will collect/utilize even more in the future.  Areas of future career growth include data science – and increasing roles of data scientists in the insurance industry.  The introduction of new and the right technologies will improve the speed and change how business is done in the future.

This may also decrease the need of personnel in various positions or career tracks above – see our discussion about the impact of Machine Learning.  

More to follow about tools to advance in these newer fields of the industry.

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Arnold Smith

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