A claims adjuster generally works with or for insurance companies and their main responsibility is to investigate, value and process claims related to loss of property. This can include theft, property damage, vehicle collisions or processing a malpractice claim against a medical professional. Because this field is so broad and specialized, each niche requires a certain degree of experience and expertise that may or may not easily transfer into another.
A claims adjuster will acquire and apply skills related to private investigating, research, statistics, as well as appraising items for their current market value. They compile reports, approve or deny claims, and work within and according to the procedures of a particular company when it comes to managing claims filed by their customers. Because this field is so diverse, having many skills and experience will go a long way in determining what job opportunities are available for a particular candidate.
The job market continues to be favorable for those who are interested in this particular career opportunity, and claims adjuster salary ranges reflect a stable and balanced career field. Over the next few years, the industry is expected to grow on par with the national average.
Claims Adjuster Salary Information:
The average claims adjuster salary is a little bit above $40,000 per year, and this will vary from job to job and company to company. Many adjusters work for private firms as full-time employees, while others work as freelancers on a contract or case-by-case basis. Therefore, compensation will depend on the specifics related to each particular job.
However, there are many claims adjusters who make around $80,000 per year as well, and experience and effectiveness play a strong role in determining what a starting salary will be for a particular adjuster. While many starting salaries may be in the $30,000 per year range, it does not take long to build up experience and assemble credentials they can be used to find job opportunities which pay quite a bit more money. Finally, many adjusters do private and freelance work while they are employed for a company at the same time.
Because of the wide range of different functions a claims adjuster will perform, salaries are generally offered based on the nature of a particular position. Those who work with high risk customers, spend much of their time in the field, or do specialized investigative work will tend to earn quite a bit more than an adjuster who works in an office processing simple and easy to manage claims. But, experience and exposure to the industry will go a long way in offering qualified individuals and opportunity to earn much more than the national average.
Claims Adjuster Educational Requirements:
There are no formal educational requirements required to become a claims adjuster, but many states do require adjusters to be licensed. These rules will change from state to state, and there are no formal degree programs which will accommodate everyone. That being said, most of the learning and education will occur on the job, and experience weighs very heavily on how well trained a claims adjuster will be.
Many insurance companies prefer employees that have experience in the industry, as well as possessing a degree in business, accounting or management. Since much of the work of a claims adjuster involves various disciplines in addition to interviewing customers, most private companies do require at least some college coursework before providing employment. While this is not always the case, applicants to have a degree as well as experience in business and in the insurance company will weigh very heavily on their prospects for employment as well as earning a good salary.
Claims Adjuster Work Environment:
The work environment for a claims adjuster will vary widely depending on the nature of the position. For those who are processing medical claims, the vast majority of work will be performed in an office, in front of the computer. Much time will be spent on the phone working with customers, the billing departments of healthcare providers as well as communicating with personnel in the insurance office.
On the other hand, a claims adjuster that works for an auto insurance company will spend much of their time in the field, visually investigating accident sites, inspecting and appraising damage in addition to interviewing customers, witnesses and law enforcement personnel. Hours are unpredictable, and much of the office work is completed in the field through the use of mobile technology.
Additionally, field personnel will be spending much of their time in various weather conditions as well as moving around from location to location based on where the claim originates. The ability to work in different locations while also being able to process information remotely are traits which will be necessary for anyone who chooses to become a field representative.