Insurance Adjuster Salary: How Much Can You Really Make?

When considering whether becoming an insurance adjuster is a good career to pursue, most people want to know the income potential. Insurance adjuster salary expectations can help you decide if this is a mountain you want to climb or avoid in your career — it’s pretty important. 

Learning about the potential of various career paths can help you make the right choices as you get started. For example, an independent insurance adjuster salary can be higher working catastrophic claims, than handling local auto damage appraising.

In this article, I will review the average salaries for insurance adjusters, the career options, the income potential, and some tips on getting started.

Average salary for insurance adjusters

insurance adjuster salaries

Salaries vary in the industry based on location, job description, experience, and type of employment. We can start to draw some conclusions by looking at the available job postings in different parts of the country.

On Glassdoor out of 9,739 claims adjuster jobs posted, the base salary is $46,954. This tells us what average salary to expect and also that there is LOTS of opportunity for work in this industry.

Note: This search was completed in April 2020, during the Coronavirus outbreak, and STILL there were tons of job postings.

The more interesting data is the salaries for related job titles. There it shows us that a Senior Claims Adjuster, which is an experienced insurance adjuster, earns on average $52,000 a year while a Claims Adjuster Trainee averages $45,000 a year.

Insurance adjuster average salary jumps to $52,000 in Los Angeles, while closer to $45,000 in North and South Carolina. The difference is likely due to the increased cost of living in different states.

When I browse onto Indeed insurance adjuster jobs I find the average is MUCH higher than on Glassdoor. Their claims adjuster average is $53,000 per year.

I also notice that there are higher-earning levels of insurance claims adjusters where you see salaries close to $65,000. These higher salaries are typically reserved for experienced and traveling insurance adjusters.

How much do insurance adjusters really make?

how much can insurance adjusters make

With all these numbers flying around what can you actually expect to make as an insurance adjuster? 

Once you are established in the industry, and have been working a job for more than a year, you can expect to earn in the range of $50,000. This will be higher or lower depending on where you live in the country.

These salary expectations don’t include the valuable benefits that most insurance adjusters are offered when working at an insurance company. With the United States national average salary at $31,099, being an insurance adjuster earns you 62% more. Pretty good.

And it’s also important to consider the various career paths, some of which can earn you much higher than average salaries. 

Insurance adjuster career paths

career paths

With those numbers out of the way, you can now start to consider if you WANT to actually be an insurance adjuster. There are many different options inside of adjusting that you can pursue.

You can handle residential claims as a property adjuster, inspect wrecked vehicles, or sit behind a desk handling insurance claims with the power of your mouse and speed dial.

Now let’s cover a few of the more common positions in insurance adjusting, and what the job entails.

Field Adjuster

These are the adjusters climbing on roofs, looking at bent metal, and working with repairers of all types to help the insured receive compensation for their loss.

Exotic options like crop, marine, or heavy equipment may be in your future if you want to be a field adjuster. Field adjusters spend a lot of time driving — keep this in mind when deciding if it’s right for you.

Desk Adjuster

These are the ones with a powerful pen who handle insurance claims from their desk. They do not do inspections of damaged property, but rely on field adjusters and appraisers to be their eyes and ears.

This is great if you don’t want to climb on roofs or spend your time as a road warrior. 

Both field adjusters and desk adjusters average around $50,000 a year.

Catastrophic Adjuster

Catastrophic adjusters travel to major disasters to handle large numbers of claims in an area. Long days and nights in hotels and in disaster zones accompany the catastrophic adjuster career path. Due to the travel and time commitment required, their pay is typically higher than a typical adjuster.

The income of a catastrophic adjuster can exceed $100,000, depending on how many days of the year they are deployed to disaster areas.

Independent catastrophic adjusters, adjusters who are for rent or hire, have even higher earning potential because they do not have a guaranteed salary.

Auto Damage Appraiser

Auto damage appraisers inspect damaged vehicles in the field but do not settle the claims with the insured. They assess the value of the damages and the value of the damaged vehicle to assist the claims adjuster with the completion of the claim.

The salary of an auto damage appraiser is similar to a claims adjuster and the average is around $50,000 a year.

Want to get started becoming an insurance adjuster?

Insurance adjusting is a very rewarding career and can give someone great fulfillment in a job where everything we do matters and typically helps other people who are in tough situations.

If what an insurance claims adjuster does sounds like a career you’d like to explore, I’d like to invite you to learn how to get started with our free video course the Independent Adjuster’s Crash Course.

I created this video course to answer the questions I get asked dozens of times each week, “How do I get started as an independent adjuster or auto damage appraiser?”

Many people struggle to find the proper steps that will give them a fast start in this career. I interviewed dozens of successful adjusters on how they got started, and wrote out the steps and discovered a strategy for getting started. It will also help you better understand how the industry works if you are interested in pursuing a career with an insurance company. You can get started TODAY!

Keep walking your path and claiming your life.

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