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Auto Insurance Adjuster: Career Info and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an auto insurance adjuster. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and state licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

Auto insurance adjusters inspect damage done to a vehicle and appraise the amount of money an insurance company should pay. A career as an auto insurance adjuster does not require much formal education, although on the job training is necessary. There are opportunities to work in the field or in call centers.

Essential Information

Auto insurance adjusters settle damage and injury claims. Some work in the field, traveling to inspect damaged vehicles, while others are employed in call centers. There aren't many standard education requirements for auto insurance adjusters, but they do usually need to complete on-the-job training and earn a state license.

Required Education High school diploma and on-the-job training for entry-level positions
Licensing State adjuster's license required, which calls for online or classroom courses and passing an examination
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 3% for claims adjusters, examiners and investigators
Median Salary (2015)* $62,980 for claims adjusters, examiners and investigators

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information

Job Description

Auto insurance claims adjusters examine and estimate the damage done to a car following an accident and decide how much money the insurance company should pay the owner for repairs. Adjusters also estimate how much the insurance company should pay in personal injury cases.

There are two types of adjusters, those that work in the field, and those in call centers. Call center adjusters ask questions via the phone and settle claims without seeing the vehicle. Field adjusters view and inspect vehicles themselves.

Job Skills

Auto insurance claims adjusters must have good communications skills in order to effectively satisfy customers without awarding excess money. Claims adjusters also need to understand automobile mechanics to properly assess damage and the cost of repairs.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that all types of claims adjusters, examiners and investigators earned a median salary of $62,980 per year. Between 2014 and 2024, employment opportunities for these professionals were expected to rise by 3%, slower than average for all professions.

Education Requirements

College Degree

While holding a college degree isn't necessarily required for positions as auto insurance claims adjustors, it can be beneficial. Degrees in accounting and business can be especially useful in helping prepare graduates for the tasks required of auto insurance adjustors.

Training

Claims adjusters usually start out as trainees under the supervision of experienced adjusters in order to learn the required skills. Trainees learn estimation techniques, conflict resolution skills and car inspection skills. When trainees fully understand the job duties, they can apply to become a licensed adjuster.

Licensing

In order to be an insurance adjuster, candidates must earn a license in the state in which they want to practice. The requirements for becoming a licensed adjuster varies by state, but generally include taking online or classroom courses and passing a written proficiency examination.

Continuing Education

Auto insurance adjusters must regularly educate themselves on the replacement costs of new automotive technology. They also need to complete training on up-to-date insurance adjusting computer software.

Auto insurance adjusters can work in the field or in call centers--both require on the job training and a high school degree. The development of certain skills specific to the insurance adjusting field will be necessary if you wish to be a successful auto insurance adjuster. Job growth in this field is lower than average for the next several years.

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