Learn how to become an auto insurance appraiser. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements and find out how to start a career in auto insurance appraising.
Should I Become an Auto Insurance Appraiser?
$62,220 yearly (median for all adjusters, examiners and investigators)
Sources: Job postings by employers (November 2012), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine
Step 1: Earn a Degree or Certificate
Since auto insurance appraisers must inspect damaged vehicles and assess repair costs, employers often prefer formal training or knowledge of auto body repair. Aspiring auto insurance appraisers may earn an associate's degree or technical certificate in auto body repair technology at a community college or vocational school.
The hands-on learning techniques used by many schools and colleges prepare students with working knowledge of auto body repair using current methods and practices. Students are also trained in recognizing and diagnosing automotive problems. Understanding the design of the automobile, metalworking, glass installation, painting, and frame alignment used in auto construction is essential for a career as an
auto insurance appraiser. Schools and colleges often follow industry standard training and certification programs, such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, I-CAR, and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
- Learn basic computer skills. An auto insurance appraiser should have experience with computers and software for job requirements such as communications and record keeping. Since insurance appraisers often travel to client sites, employers will usually issue laptop computers for mobile work needs. Necessary computer skills include Microsoft Office programs, especially Word and Excel, and the ability to use appraisal software.
Step 2: Become Professionally Licensed
Licensing requirements for auto insurance appraisers vary by state. Some states require pre-licensing experience or education, while other states require the individual to pass a licensing exam. A fee is often required when the license is first issued, as well as upon renewal. States requiring a license to work as an auto insurance appraiser may also require yearly educational credits towards license renewal.
Step 3: Decide to Work Independently or with a Firm