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Insurance appraisers are individuals who are either employed by an insurance company or are independent contractors. They are experts in the field of valuation of property damage to buildings or automobiles. Appraisers often need to be experts in contents valuation, as well. With the amount of knowledge required for this position, insurance appraiser training is essential, and there are several ways to obtain the appropriate training.
Aside from the insurance appraiser training, many insurance companies prefer to hire individuals with either a college degree or extensive experience, but there is no specific degree that is recommended, and many two year degrees will also be acceptable. Suitable prior experience would include working in an auto body shop for an auto appraiser or employment as a building contractor for a property appraiser.
For individuals who are hired into an appraiser position without formal insurance appraiser training, on the job training is provided to learn the systems and the specific valuation software required. Some insurance company employees with other titles are able to transition into the appraiser position and receive additional training. This is not a route that is available to everyone, and for these job seekers, insurance appraiser training schools can provide the tools necessary to become an appraiser.
There are several insurance appraiser training facilities located throughout the United States. These facilities provide a rigorous program based on the field of damage a trainee wishes to study — automobile damage or building damage, for instance. The length of the training depends on the courses studied and the field of study. Some programs are as short as four days, while others are as long as three months.
When deciding on training facilities, students should opt for those which are accredited and certified in the appropriate areas. Potential students should also consider the requirements to attend classes. Some insurance appraiser training schools offer individual courses, and students are able to attend the required classes at their own pace. Other schools mandate that all courses be taken consecutively and in a specific order.
Another issue when deciding on an insurance appraiser school is the cost. The average price of tuition for a full certification program in 2010 is approximately $5,000. Some private loans may be available to those who qualify, but the training facilities provide few payment options and do not offer scholarships.
Insurance appraisers are also required to take many continuing education courses throughout their career. These courses ensure that the appraisers are up to date on the latest vehicle models and valuation software. Employers will often either pay or reimburse for this continuing education and send the appraiser to the training facility of the company's choice.
Insurance appraiser training is extensive and can be costly, but for some, the result is worth it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth at seven percent between 2008 and 2018.
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