Workers' Comp Claims Examiners
Workers' compensation claim examiners ensure that claims adjusters and claimants have followed proper protocols when submitting employees' compensation claims. Based on their findings, they decide whether an employee should be compensated and, if so, how much he or she should receive. Workers' compensation claims examiners typically work for health or life insurance companies. Weekend and evening work hours might be required.
|Degree Level||High school diploma or its equivalent; associate's or bachelor's degree is often preferred|
|Degree Field||General education, writing, mathematics|
|Certification||Some states require certification and optional certification is available|
|Key Skills||Analytical, communication, interpersonal, and math skills|
|Salary||$64,300 (Median annual salary for claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators as of May 2015)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Earn an Undergraduate Degree
While there is no formal education requirement for becoming a workers' comp claims examiner, many employers look favorably upon applicants with an associate or bachelor's degree. General education requirements for most college degree programs, which include courses in writing, communication, mathematics, and critical thinking, can provide students with many of the skills needed to become a workers' compensation claims examiner.
Obtain Voluntary Certification
The Associate in Claims (AIC) is a designation recognized by many employers in the insurance field. Educational programs leading to the AIC are offered by various organizations, as well as some colleges and universities. Courses also are offered online through the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. AIC programs consist of a series of courses covering policy and claims handling practices and principles. The AIC designation is awarded after the student passes an exam.
Gain Work Experience
Companies hire people with a variety of work backgrounds for claims examiner positions. Experience in the legal field, such as paralegal or law enforcement work, can be helpful. Entry-level examiners usually start out working on small insurance claims under the supervision of a senior claims examiner. As they become more experienced, they are given more complex assignments.
Research State Licensure
Licensure requirements vary from state to state. For example, in Oregon, all workers' compensation claims examiners employed by businesses, insurers, and third-party administrators must pass a certification examination. In some states can substitute a voluntary professional designation for passage of a licensing exam; other states allow employees to work under a company license.
Continue Your Education
Adjusters and examiners need to keep up with new state and federal workers' compensation laws. Continuing education courses can be found through state websites and public and private schools. Some employers, such as insurance companies, also offer continuing education units with more and more courses being offered online.
In summary, an aspiring workers' comp claims examiner might benefit from an undergraduate degree program and voluntary certification. Licensure requirements for this profession vary by state.