Insurance Appraisers Overview: Among the career paths in insurance, insurance appraisers are experts in the valuation of certain types of property, providing expert advice to insurance claims adjusters. Auto damage appraisers represent a large and particularly significant category of insurance appraisers. Other closely allied occupations are those of insurance examiners and insurance investigators.
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Education: Educational requirements vary greatly, depending on the position and the employer. To be an auto damage appraiser, for example, education beyond high school normally is not necessary, but relevant experience is a must.
Certification: There are no formal certification processes, but many larger insurance companies have in-house training programs. However, previous experience in allied fields is often an important consideration in hiring. For example, auto damage appraisers typically are people with previous experience managing or making damage estimates for auto body shops.
Duties and Responsibilities: An insurance appraiser must keep his or her knowledge current regarding the class of property (such as automobiles) in which he or she is expert. While knowledge and analytic ability are central to the job, effective field work also requires good people skills.
Typical Schedule: Insurance appraisers usually are entirely in the field, but some specialties, like auto claims, generally have regular hours.
What's to Like: The regular hours and good pay are attractive features of the job. For those who dislike desk-bound jobs, the constant field work is another plus.
What's Not to Like: The job can become somewhat rote and repetitive after a while. Some people who crave variety in their work may not find a long-term position as an insurance appraiser to be exciting for this reason.
Salary Range: Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual compensation for auto damage appraisers was about $49,000 as of May 2006, with the top 10% earning over $68,000.