How to Become a

Claims Adjuster

The complete career guide to be a Claims Adjuster: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $64,300
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Deal Making
    Career Attribute

Claims adjusters generally work for property insurance companies and are responsible for determining the amount of money paid for a property loss claim. They investigate property when a claim is made, determine whether or not the damage is covered, and estimate the cost of repairs.

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What is a Claims Adjuster?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in claims adjuster roles:

  • Examine insured property after a claim is filed, taking photographs and documenting damage
  • Conduct interviews with the insured individual, witnesses, and doctors, and review police reports to validate the cause of the damage
  • Estimate the cost to repair the damage, and bring in expert estimators when needed
  • Submit proposed payouts to claims examiners for approval
  • Present claim payout amounts to insured individuals

A Day in the Life

Claims adjusters evaluate personal property claims when damage occurs to an insured home, car, or business. After a claim is filed with a personal property insurer, a claims adjuster is sent into the field to evaluate the claim. The claims adjuster first determines that the damage is covered by the insured’s policy. He/she examines the property and damage and interviews the insured to determine the cause of damage, and reviews the policy to determine if payment on the claim is warranted.

After determining that the claim is covered, the claims adjuster investigates the cause of the claim to ensure that the damage was caused unintentionally. He/she interviews insured individuals, witnesses, and doctors, and collects police reports when available. A major responsibility of the claims adjuster is to identify instances of possible fraud, so the claims adjuster must do significant research when warranted to ensure the insurance company isn’t tricked into paying fraudulent claims.

After validating that the cause of the damage was unintentional, the claims adjuster estimates the cost of repairs. He/she may form the estimate or may bring in an expert—architect, general contractor, or mechanic—to estimate the cost of repairs. Once the repairs are estimated, the claims adjuster submits the claim payout to a claims examiner for approval. If the examiner approves the amount, the adjuster presents the amount to the insured for approval. If approved, the adjuster writes a check.

Typical Work Schedule

Most claims adjusters work full-time, but they may be required to work irregular schedules—nights and weekends—to meet the needs of insured individuals who’ve filed claims. They may also be required to work overtime when many claims are submitted concurrently, such as after a natural disaster.

Claims Adjuster Specializations

While many claims adjusters work for property insurance companies, some are self-employed public adjusters. Public adjusters evaluate claims on behalf of individuals in cases where the insured party feels as though the insurance company is not proposing a reasonable payout for repair of damage.

Typical Employers

Claims adjusters are commonly hired to work for property insurance companies, insurance agencies, or federal, state, or local government agencies.

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How To Become a Claims Adjuster

In many cases, a high school diploma is a sufficient level of education to work as a claims adjuster. Companies look for individuals with professional experience in both insurance and estimating and/or repairing the type of property the adjuster will evaluate. For example, an automobile claims adjuster should have a professional background working in insurance to understand what claims are and aren’t covered, as well as professional experience in an automobile shop estimating damage repair costs.

However, some employers may prefer to hire adjusters with bachelor’s degrees, and a college degree can be useful in preparing aspiring claims adjusters for their role. For example, individuals interested in claims adjuster positions evaluating damage to homes would do well to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture. This education provides aspiring claims adjusters with the knowledge they need to succeed when estimating the cost of repairs to damaged homes and other structures.

Most claims adjusters begin their careers in entry-level positions working under an experienced claims adjuster. This allows them to begin learning more about the types of insurance policies provided by their employers, the typical amount awarded for different types of claims, and common signs of fraud. After training under an experienced claims adjuster, you’ll likely start off on your own working on small claims, and if you’re successful, can eventually move into adjusting for large, high-dollar claims.

Claims Adjuster Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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How do Claims Adjuster salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Claims Adjuster's can make an average annual salary of $64,300, or $31 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $47,590 or $23 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #235 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Claims Adjusters

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 6.6%   Masters
  • 39.8%   Bachelors
  • 9.5%   Associates
  • 25.1%   College
  • 16.5%   High School
  • 0.6%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Claims Adjuster job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 9,800 jobs for a total of 309,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #509 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Claims Adjusters

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers 93,300 -6,900 -7%
Other insurance related activities 57,700 13,300 13%
Federal government, excluding postal service 46,700 -4,500 -5%

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