Insurance appraisers are assigned to inspect insured property that has been damaged and develop an estimate of the costs for repair or replacement. A large number of appraisers work in the auto insurance field. They will inspect a damaged vehicle that their insurer covers, and then provide a damage report and estimate to the insurance adjuster. Appraisers play a valuable role in the auto insurance business because they are a source for an unbiased estimate. The alternative to the insurance company would be a body shop, which may or may not provide a fair estimate.
There is no formal education requirement for insurance appraisers. Over half have either a bachelor's or associate's degree, while another 17% have some college experience. Employers are inclined to hire appraisers with some post-secondary education due to the amount of paperwork involved as well as the personal skills involved in developing a quality estimate by talking with repair professionals.
There were 319,000 people employed in the insurance appraisal, adjuster, examiner and investigator positions in 2006. Appraisers held a relatively small percentage of these jobs; about 5% of them were auto appraiser jobs.
The job opportunities for appraisers will grow at a little faster pace than those for other professionals in the insurance settlement business. Appraisals on damaged property cannot be easily automated, and appraisers also act as the insurance company's first line of defense in discussing the particulars of a pending insurance claim.
10th Percentile $36,500
Median Salary $53,440
90th Percentile $73,210
Source: U.S. Department of Labor