Insurance Adjuster Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become an insurance adjuster. Learn about education requirements, job duties, job outlook, and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Insurance Adjuster?

Insurance adjusters handle every aspect of processing an insurance claim, from start to finish. Their job duties include collecting information and writing reports for evaluation by insurance examiners. They are also responsible for negotiating and settling claims, and may work in the interest of a claimant or an insurance company, depending upon their employer.

The table below outlines the general requirements to become an insurance adjuster.

Degree Required High school diploma, bachelor's degree preferred
Education Field of StudyBusiness or accounting
Key Skills Analytical skills, communication and interpersonal skills, math skills
Licensure RequiredVaries by state
Job Growth (2014-2024)3% (for all claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators)*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $64,300 (for all claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Education Do I Need to Become an Insurance Adjuster?

There are no strict education requirements for becoming an insurance adjuster; however, most employers prefer that you have a college degree or work experience associated with insurance. While no specific major is required, a degree in business, accounting, healthcare or another related major may be beneficial. After obtaining employment, you will likely be trained on the job.

Depending on the company you work for, you may be required to obtain state licensure to serve as an insurance adjuster. You'll also have to maintain licensure by completing continuing education, which is often provided by your employer. Continuing education allow you to remain current on updates to insurance policies and advances in medical procedures as well as the impact of changes in state and federal laws on the insurance industry. You might also choose to earn certification through a professional organization to demonstrate proficiency in the field and spur career advancement.

What Is the Job Like?

Insurance adjusters manage the entire claims process, which includes opening claims, interviewing clients, collecting information, coordinating with insurance investigators and writing up reports. You'll also verify coverage and negotiate and pay out settlements. If there is a problem with coverage, you may refer it out to a legal department.

While you will generally work a 40-hour week, meeting with clients may involve working early mornings or evenings. In claims involving a natural disaster, you may travel to the site and then work until all the claims are in process before retiring for the day. In such cases, you may work very long hours for an indeterminate period of time.

What are the Advancement Opportunities?

Normally, an adjuster starts out in a large insurance company working on small claims and is closely supervised by experienced adjusters. Once you are competent in the claims process, you will move on to work more independently. From there, you may continue working as an adjuster on more complex claims or advance into management based on job performance and additional education.

Some insurance adjusters go on to become public adjusters. As a public adjuster, you'll work privately for clients who pay you to protect their interests while dealing with an insurance claim. Many public adjusters start their own businesses and do freelance work for insurance companies. Public adjusters are required by most states to be licensed and, in some cases, bonded.

What are the Job Prospects and Salary Information?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment in this field is projected to increase only three percent over the ten-year period between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This growth will be due to the expanding health-insurance industry, which is affected by automation of claims processing, and by the aging of the population. The mean salary for insurance adjusters in 2015 was $64,300 per year. Most adjusters were employed directly by insurance carriers, which offered a mean wage of $63,490.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Similar careers include those of insurance sales agents and real estate appraisers. Insurance sales agents need at least a high school diploma; they are responsible for selling insurance and policy renewals and help clients choose between policies. Real estate appraisers estimate property values and need to have a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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