How to Become an Insurance Claim Adjuster

Insurance Claim Adjuster Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $35,420
Avg. Pay / hour $17.03
Education 2-4 Years
Job Outlook -3%

Insurance Claim Adjusters are responsible for working on insurance claims made by a client who has suffered a loss.

These professionals can work for companies that offer insurance to many types of clients and for a variety of purposes.

Insurance companies can provide coverage for both businesses and individuals.

Some types of insurance provided to policyholders include medical and health care insurance, auto and home, worker’s comp insurance and insurance for businesses.

When an insured individual or business suffers a loss caused by circumstances out of their control, they will place a claim with their insurance company in order to be compensated for their losses.

A policyholder will only be compensated up to the value of their loss.

An Insurance Claim Adjuster will get involved in the claims process after it has been filed by the policyholder.

They will handle many aspects of the submitted claim.

Education Requirements to Become an Insurance Claim Adjuster

Although there are no set educational requirements in order to become an Insurance Claim Adjuster , some employers seek candidates who have a combination of education, experience and licensure.

There are also no specific majors in order to become an Insurance Claim Adjuster.

However, some majors will help candidates be successful in the field.

Candidates who study a business or accounting track can be successful specializing in business accounts.

They would be able to successfully work for companies who have suffered financial losses due equipment breakdowns or strikes.

Candidates who study a medical field can work on life insurance and medical claims.

A candidate who focuses on Architecture or Engineering can become an Insurance Claim Adjuster who specializes in adjusting for industrial claims; these claims can revolve around damages due to fires or similar accidents.

Depending on the state, candidates will also need to secure licensure in order to work in the industry.

Licensing requirements vary by state therefore research has to be done in order to learn the exact steps to get licensed in your state.

Some states require candidates to complete a licensing class as well as take and pass an exam.

Because federal and state laws change regularly, Insurance Claim Adjusters are required to take continuing classes in order to keep up with the changes.

These classes are also a prerequisite in order for Insurance Claim Adjusters to renew their licenses.

Insurance Claim Adjuster Job Description

An Insurance Claim Adjuster will work on an open claim after it has been submitted by a policyholder.

They are responsible for investigating all aspects of the claim in order to determine final compensation to client’s suffering a loss.

An Insurance Claim Adjuster will use many methods in order to determine the cost of any losses.

One technique would be to interview people.

For example, they may interview policyholders, claimants or witnesses to determine liability for an auto accident.

If an auto accident caused any possible injuries, adjusters would interview physicians and secure hospital records in order to determine how much they would need to compensate the injured party, all depending on liability.

An adjuster would also investigate any property losses and would gather evidence to determine liability.

Additional information that adjusters may gather include pictures, witness reports and police reports.

They may also seek expert advice from other professionals such as auto body workers, lawyers, engineers and physicians.

After gathering all necessary information needed to approve a claim, an adjuster will submit it for final evaluation.

When a claim is approved and finalized, they will work with the claimant to make final negotiations.

If a claimant rejects an offer, adjusters will work with lawyers and other professionals in order to figure out a resolution.

Insurance Claim Adjuster Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the growth for Claim Adjuster and related careers is expected to grow by about 7% through the year 2018.

This growth is considered average when compared to other professions.

Insurance Claim Adjuster careers are expected to be stronger in the health care insurance industry due to a growing senior population.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups Insurance Claim Adjusters with other professionals in the insurance industry.

The Bureau estimates that the national median wage for all insurance industry professionals is approximately $55,750 per year.

The salary range for all professionals is $34,000 to $84,000 per year.

Exact wages will depend on the insurance sector, years of experience and the geographical location.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$56,720
New Hampshire$52,460
New Jersey$52,480
New Mexico$39,060
New York$51,570
North Carolina$47,220
North Dakota$45,330
Rhode Island$47,390
South Carolina$41,430
South Dakota$37,550
West Virginia$35,680
Puerto Rico$26,530
Virgin Islands- NA -

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $56,720.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $56,720
Connecticut - $56,690
Massachusetts - $53,780
Washington - $53,520
Maryland - $52,840
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks, OCC Code 43-9041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an insurance claims adjuster do?

Insurance claims adjusters conduct investigations into claims.

Those can be any type of claims covered by an insurance policy; for example, property damage or personal injury.

To be able to carry out the detailed investigation, an insurance claims adjuster would typically review the police reports; inspect the damage; talk to the property owners and the witnesses.

Right after the investigation is complete, the insurance claims adjuster would have to determine how much the insured individual or business will get paid.

In most cases, the adjuster would try to make sure that the property owners agree to accept less money than they initially claimed.

An insurance claims adjuster can wither be working for an insurance company or might work independently and sometimes be hired by insurance companies to handle specific cases.

How much do insurance claims adjusters make?

On average, insurance claims adjusters earn a little less than $60.000 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to make anywhere between $37.000 and $90.000 annually in the United States.

However, the salary would certainly depend on your experience, whether you are working independently or for a company, and even on the geographical location.

Staff adjusters (the experts working for insurance companies) typically earn less; while independent insurance claims adjusters can reach a six-figure income, in case there are enough catastrophe claims to handle.

How much does it cost to become an insurance claims adjuster?

If you are planning on becoming an independent claims adjuster, a high school diploma would do; however, the majority of insurance companies require the candidates to have a degree in insurance and risk management (or something similar).

An online undergraduate degree, for example, will cost you around $400 per credit.

Some states might require the future insurance claims adjuster to be licensed.

Reciprocal licenses cost anywhere between $55 and $175.

There also are states that would require you to undergo continuing education courses every two years or so; those can cost you a few hundred dollars.

What is the demand for insurance claims adjusters?

At the moment, there are not enough insurance claims adjusters; that’s why specialists are in high demand.

However, there won’t be a huge number of new places created in the near future.

This type of career certainly does depend on a lot of factors; in case there are a lot of catastrophes – the demand for insurance claims adjusters will increase and vice versa.

How long does it take to become an insurance claims adjuster?

If you want to find a job in an insurance company, then you might have to go for a degree.

It will take you 2 years to complete an associate’s degree program and 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

During the licensing process, you might have to take a pre-licensing course which typically lasts for a week.

After that, you would have to pass an exam and undergo a background check and criminal records search.

To maintain the license, you might have to take a continuing education course every two years (those usually last for 24 hours).

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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