In order to become a claims adjuster, you'll need at least a high school diploma or a GED, but many employers look for job candidates with an undergraduate degree. You'll also need to go through on-the-job training where you'll learn the essential functions of the job.
Most claims adjusters are trained on the job, because no formal educational requirements exist for this insurance industry position. However, many insurers prefer hiring individuals with bachelor's degrees. Claims adjusters spend most of their time traveling to investigate insurance claims.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training|
|Projected Job Growth||3% from 2014-2024 for claims adjusters, examiners and investigators*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$62,980 annually for claims adjusters, examiners and investigators*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Claims Adjuster Education Requirements
Many claims adjusters hold only a high school diploma; most of what they learn about the job is through company training. However, an increasing number of insurance companies prefer applicants who hold an undergraduate degree. Currently, there are no formal subject area requirements for pursuing a career as a claims adjuster, but some popular areas of study include business, accounting, engineering and law.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
A bachelor's degree program in business administration typically allows students to choose areas of concentration. Some possible concentration areas include accounting, marketing, management, finance and entrepreneurship. The ability to choose a specialty area is usually found in business schools that have excellent reputations and selective admissions policies.
Core business classes stress problem solving and analytical thinking skills. They're required of all students, regardless of major area. Some business foundation classes cover finance, econometrics, organizational behavior and business writing. Future claims adjusters in a business bachelor's degree program learn analytical and problem-solving skills that help them make decisions about the validity of a claim. Communication skills learned in a business administration degree program are also important, because many claims adjusters must consult with engineering and architectural professionals about damage incurred to a building or structure.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
A Bachelor of Science in Accounting is usually offered by a business school. The curriculum emphasizes a mix of business and accounting courses. While the primary goal of an undergraduate degree program in accounting is to prepare graduates for careers as accountants, many other career paths are possible. Some core accounting classes include payroll accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, systems of accounting and principles of accounting.
These major area courses can help adjusters who deal with financial claims that involve the loss of money due to equipment failure or merchandise damage. An accounting graduate can crunch the numbers to determine the payout estimate for an insurer. Business courses may include finance, business law, ethics and management. Generally, students end their course of study with an internship or a capstone course that prepares students for the CPA (certified public accountant) examination.
Claims adjusters are employed by insurance companies in order to investigate claims submitted by individuals who want to offset some of the cost for their loss. Adjusters spend lots of time on the road, investigating claims that range from property damage to medical issues. Often, a claims adjuster has to interview an insurance customer to get the exact details surrounding the claim. He or she may then consult with professionals, such as physicians, lawyers or engineers, for an evaluation of the situation. Based on information gathered from consultations and interviews, a claim is either accepted or rejected.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports average employment growth to be only three percent for claims adjusters for the 2014-2024 period. The best opportunities for employment exist with health insurance companies, because these are expected to grow in the next ten years. Claims adjusters will likely be needed to review an increasing number of medical claims. Salary.com states that the median salary for adjusters with little experience was $42,449 as of 2016. The median annual salary of a claims adjuster with experience was $68,042.
Claims adjusters need strong organizational, communication and problem solving skills in order to analyze complex situations involving insurance claims. While the field is expected to grow more slowly than average between 2014 and 2024, prospective adjusters may bolster their career prospects by earning a bachelor's degree or specializing in a particular field, like healthcare.