Auto insurance adjusters handle and investigate auto insurance claims. An adjuster may gather information from hospital or other records, interview witnesses to an automobile accident and inspect property for damages. The adjuster then organizes his information into a report that he later uses to determine an appropriate settlement amount. An auto insurance adjuster's salary depends on many factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics places auto insurance adjusters under the category of "claims adjusters, examiners and investigators." As of 2009, an auto insurance adjuster's average hourly pay was $28.26 and her average annual salary was $58,780, according to the bureau. Insurance adjusters on the lower end of the salary scale, or the 10th percentile, earned $34,820 per year on average while those on the higher end of the scale, or 90th percentile, averaged $85,810 per year.
Salary by Location
In 2009 in the District of Columbia, salaries averaged $77,180 per year for auto insurance adjusters; salaries averaged higher there than in any other state. Salaries were comparably high in New Jersey, where annual salaries for insurance adjusters averaged $67,190 per year. In North Dakota and Nebraska, earnings were significantly lower. In those states, yearly salaries averaged $49,970 and $51,480 respectively. The highest paying metropolitan area for an auto insurance adjusters was Lubbock, Texas, where salaries averaged $80,290 per year.
Salary by Industry
In 2009, the industry sector with the highest earnings was securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage, where yearly salaries averaged $71,950. In the natural gas distribution industry, auto insurance adjusters could expect to earn $68,960 per year on average. Yearly salaries averaged $66,430 in other financial investment activities and in rail transportation, yearly salaries averaged $66,250 for auto insurance adjusters. The federal executive branch paid average salaries of about $66,000 per year. The industry with the highest level of employment was insurance carriers, employing 128,440 adjusters at average salaries of $57,890 in 2009.
In 2008, there were 294,600 adjusters, examiners and investigators working in the United States. The bureau expects this number to rise by 20,900 to 315,500 by 2018. This is a 7 percent increase which is about "as fast as average" compared with other occupations.