Insurance companies, corporations and government agents depend on claims representatives to investigate, evaluate and settle insurance claims. Claims representatives may work as examiners, adjusters or investigators, inspecting property damage, estimating it and checking for fraudulent activity, respectively. If you want to work as a claims representative, your educational requirements are contingent on the type of industry in which you work -- auto, property or healthcare. You can expect to earn a salary averaging more than $60,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average salary of a claims representative was $61,530 as of May 2012, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent made more than $89,810 annually. To become a claims representative, you need at least a high school diploma and one or more years of experience in the claims industry. Some employers may prefer hiring claims representatives with bachelor's degrees. Those in the auto claims industry usually have associate's degrees in claims or related majors and experience working in auto repair shops, according to the BLS. Healthcare claims representatives must be knowledgeable of medical terminology and insurance filing procedures. Other essential requirements for the job are analytical, math, communication and interpersonal skills.
Place of Employment Matters
A claims representative can earn more working for certain types of employers. They earned the highest salaries of $79,070 working in the natural gas distribution industry, according to 2012 data from the BLS. Claims representatives who work for natural gas companies may assess or investigate explosions, injuries, property damages or fraudulent activity. If you work as a claims representative for an insurance and benefit funds company, you'll make $61,250 per year, which is just below the national average of $61,530 for all claims representatives. Claims adjusters at insurance companies and state government agencies made $60,860 and $55,680, respectively.
Salaries by State or District
In 2012, claims representatives earned the highest salaries of $75,730 in Washington, D.C., reports the BLS. They also earned relatively high salaries in Connecticut and New Jersey -- $70,000 and $67,700 per year, respectively. In New York or California, you'd make $65,620 or $65,520, respectively, in this field, and you'd earn $62,140 or $62,050 in Texas or Pennsylvania, respectively. Claims representatives earned significantly less in Florida and Oklahoma at $56,960 and $54,080, respectively.
Poor Job Outlook
The BLS only projects a 3 percent increase in jobs for claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators from 2010 to 2020, which is significantly below the 14 percent growth rate for all occupations. The healthcare industry will create most of the job growth in this industry, as everyone must be insured by 2014 because of the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The BLS forecasts an 8 percent decline in jobs for auto appraisers because manufacturers are producing safer automobiles.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Claims Adjuster, Appraiser, Examiner, or Investigator
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators
- Geico: Claims Careers
- ONEOK: Senior Claims Representative
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Affordable Care Act
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