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Auto Insurance Adjuster: Career Info and Education Requirements

Auto insurance adjusters inspect damaged vehicles and settle damage and injury claims. There aren't many standard education requirements for auto insurance adjusters, but they do usually need to complete on-the-job training and a state license.

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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 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that automotive damage insurance appraisers earned a median of $61,660 per year. Between 2012 and 2022, employment opportunities for these professionals were expected to drop 5%. The employment decline for auto damage insurance appraisers may be due, in part, to a decrease in the number of automotive accidents, reports the BLS.

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 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.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics