I believe that the claims industry can be very misleading to most outsiders because it has all of the outward appearances of a blue collar job when in fact it is truly not.
Example: six years ago while working a hail storm in San Antonio I overheard a home owner tell his son "that is the kind of job that you will have to take if you don't go to college" as they watched me setting up my ladder to complete a roof inspection.
For the record, at the time of this incident, I had a four year college degree, that was the requirement for the staff adjuster position I held. Furthermore, I had fiercely competed with other white collar professionals for at least sixteen months and went through five interviews before I was offered a twelve week (no pass / no job) training process.
People (students) typically prepare for white collar jobs, a process that among other things involves significant amounts of education. Most blue collar workers do not become students of their profession until the actual job begins. Outsiders who have made the assumption that the claims industry is a blue collar profession are also prone to the assumption that they can learn after the opportunity to work (and when it comes to catastrophe claims it will) is offered.
Fact: Some people ( a very gifted and well mentored few ) have been known to defy all laws of preparation by what appears to be the equivalent of grabbing ahold of their own boot straps and lifting themselves up to successful careers within the industry.
I personally would not have been capable of doing this as in many ways I was barely ahead of the wash out curve even with all of the education and $100,000+ free training that I received.
Once I terminated my staff adjuster position and was reborn as an independent, I looked around and noticed that the majority of other independent adjusters do not have four year degrees. Maturity, commitment, organization and claims specific preparation are crucial components to success within this industry, however, educational demands of this job rarely exceed that of a high school diploma.
Fact: There is an extremely large difference in the earning potential from one independent to the next.
The independents within a high level understanding and dedication (on an average storm year ) consistantly generate income greater than that of physicians and attorneys, there are those (even those with significant amounts of experience) who will simply make a living on the industry, those who struggle to make a living and many who are consistantly overwhelmed and eventually quit. This in a nutshell is what makes this career path so great! There is no political advantage to the independent venue when it comes to getting paid. Simply put, the greatest asset to your earning potential is the amount of dedication you deliver to this profession.
"In a world full of people only some want to fly isn't that crazy"
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