Regardless of where you live, accidents are going to happen, and the need for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners or investigators will always exist. Selecting this occupation as your profession should provide you with job stability and portability, even with relocating every few years. The education requirements necessary to become a claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner or investigator vary widely based on the career path you choose.
Specialties in the field
Entry-level claims adjustors, examiners and investigators require at least a high school diploma. Advanced positions and certain employers often require a bachelor’s degree, insurance-related work experience or vocational training.
Auto damage appraisers require a postsecondary non-degree award or experience working in an auto repair shop, identifying and estimating the cost of automotive repairs. You can also expect to receive on-the-job training with a supervisor or more experienced appraiser, which may last for months or until you have proven your competency.
Education and licensing requirements
Finding the right business or finance program to support a career path as a claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner or investigator has never been easier. The MySECO website offers a variety of tools to help you find the right program. College Scorecard allows you to filter through categories such as location, size, campus setting and more. You can even use the Scholarship Finder on MySECO to find funding to help pay for classes.
Individual states have varying licensing requirements for becoming a claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner or investigator. Some states have few while others require completing pre-licensing education, a satisfactory score on a licensing exam or both. For example, in some states, claims adjusters employed by insurance companies can work under the company license and are not required to have an individual license. In other states each individual employee must be licensed.
As part of maintaining your license, some states require a certain number of continuing education units per year to renew the license. You can visit the MySECO articles, License Finder, About Continuing Education Units and Finding the Right CEUs for Me, to find information on your state's rules and regulations and for help selecting a CEU. Also, be sure to visit the Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition Options for up-to-date legislation and licensure information for your specific state.
If you move due to a PCS, you can receive up to $1,000 in reimbursement for costs associated with exams or registration fees to keep working in your new state. Each service has its own procedures for reimbursement, so be sure you know what your branch requires.
Federal and state laws, as well as court decisions, affect how claims must be processed and dictate what insurance policies can and must cover. For example, examiners working on life and health claims must stay up to date on new medical procedures and prescription drugs. Examiners working on auto claims must be familiar with new car models and repair techniques.
Join a professional organization in your chosen field to gain a better understanding of current industry practices and policies. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Network with other professionals in your industry to give you an edge in meeting the right people who may have the connections you need to get an interview at your new location.
Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.
Finding a job
After meeting the education requirements to become a claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner or investigator, it’s time to find a job in your occupation. One of the first places to look is the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Hundreds of partner employers have made the commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. If you aren’t having any luck finding employment in your specific occupation, you may wish to consider similar employment, which can include the following:
- Appraisers and assessors of real estate
- Construction and building inspectors
- Cost estimators
- Fire inspectors and investigators
To explore additional information related to starting your career as a claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner or investigator, check out the Research Occupations tool on MySECO. Enter the keywords 'Claims Adjusters, Examiners and Investigators' to learn more about the occupational overview for your specialty field. If you need additional information on obtaining the proper license or certification as part of your specialty field, visit the Advantages of Licensure article in the Education, Training and Licensing lifecycle stage of MySECO.
You can also speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website.