What is a Staff Adjuster?

Author: Ethan Peyton

There are two major types of insurance adjusters: independent adjusters and staff adjusters. While at first glance they may seem similar, there is a key difference between the two. 

Unlike independent adjusters that work on a contractor basis, staff adjusters are salaried employees of the insurance company. This means a more reliable role and a steady paycheck but what does a staff adjuster actually do?

This article will answer the common question: What is a staff adjuster?

Let’s dive in. 

Take Action

If you’re ready to jump into the role of a staff adjuster, the first step is to get your adjuster license.

Check out our guide: How to Get Your Adjuster License

What Does a Staff Adjuster Do?

A staff adjuster is a type of insurance adjuster that is employed by an insurance company to investigate, evaluate, and settle insurance claims. 

Staff adjusters help to ensure the claims process is handled efficiently and fairly, balancing the needs of the claimant with the interests of the insurance company. 

Staff adjusters are paid yearly, monthly, or hourly salaries and benefit from more reliable, steady work than their contractor counterparts. 

Rather than working for independent adjuster (IA) firms, these adjusters only work on behalf of the insurance company they are employed by. For example, if a staff adjuster works for State Farm, they will only investigate claims filed with State Farm. 

Responsibilities of a Staff Adjuster

A staff adjusters primary role involves: 

  • Claim Investigation: When a claim is filed, staff adjusters are responsible for conducting the investigation including visiting the site of the claim, interviewing witnesses, and collecting any relevant documentation or information such as police reports or medical records. 
  • Assessing Damages: Whether the claim is related to a weather event, car accident, or personal injury, staff adjusters review the extent of the damage. 
  • Determining Policy Coverage: The staff adjuster reviews the insurance policy to determine what is covered under the terms of the policyholder’s agreement with the insurance company. 
  • Settling Claims: Based on their investigation and assessment, staff adjusters negotiate settlements with the claimant. 
  • Detecting Fraud: One major aspect of staff adjuster work is determining if a claim is fraudulent and taking actions to investigate further if necessary. 

Staff Adjuster – A Good Career Choice?

Now that you know the basics of a staff adjuster’s role and responsibilities you’re probably wondering: Is being a staff adjuster the right career path for me? 

While becoming a staff adjuster is a great career, it isn’t right for every adjuster. 

To determine whether this is the right path for you, you’ll need to assess the advantages and disadvantages of being a staff adjuster and whether it aligns with your goals, wants, and needs.

Staff Adjuster Pros

  • Reliable Salary — Being a staff adjuster is going to offer a consistent, reliable salary compared to independent adjusters. 
  • Company Benefits — Unlike other adjuster roles, being a salaried employee means company benefits like health insurance and paid leave. 
  • Possibility of Paid Training — Continued education and additional training is a must for insurance adjusters. Many staff adjusters receive the benefit of paid training provided by their employer. 

Staff Adjuster Cons

  • Lack of Flexibility  — As with any 9-5 role, staff adjusters have less flexibility than a contractor position. 
  • Potentially Less Earnings — Independent adjusters, on average, make more than staff adjusters. 
  • Less Variety — Many staff adjusters will be dedicated to one area of work which may not be ideal for an adjuster that prefers a mixture of claim types.
  • High Workload — A common feature of being on staff is having a high number of open claims at any given time.

See how this compares to the pros and cons of being an independent adjuster.

Staff Adjuster Salary

Adjusters don’t work simply for the fun of it. Before you choose the type of adjuster you want to be, you likely want to know the amount of money you can bring in the role. 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of staff adjusters from all levels of experience in the US is $74,624 with the total pay range reported as $60,000 to $106,000

As you gain more experience, skills, and training, salary levels will rise. The table below shows a basic idea of salaries for staff adjusters based on experience level. 

ExperienceLow RangeHigh RangeMidpoint
0-1 Year$50,000$84,000$61,000
1-3 Years$53,000$87,000$63,000
4-6 Years$57,000$92,000$67,000
7-9 Years$58,000$94,000$68,000
10-14 Years$59,000$96,000$70,000
15+ Years$62,000$101,000$74,000

Curious to know what other types of adjusters make? Check out our guide: Insurance Adjuster Salaries

How to Become a Staff Adjuster 

To become a staff adjuster, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow including getting your adjuster license, obtaining training and certifications, and applying to insurance companies. 

  1. Get a License — The first step toward becoming a staff adjuster is obtaining your adjuster license. Use our guide on how to become an insurance adjuster to find your state and complete the necessary steps toward licensure.  
  2. Obtain Necessary Skills and Certifications — Success in the insurance adjuster world relies on skills and training. To launch your staff adjuster career, you need to complete specialized training, such as Xactimate training, to prepare yourself for the role. 
  3. Apply to Insurance Companies — Finally, you can start applying to open adjuster roles offered by insurance companies in your area. 

As with any salaried position, finding a job as a staff adjuster requires you to undergo the job search, application, and interview process. Make this process a little easier on yourself by prioritizing networking as building skills that will make you a stand out candidate. 

Different Types of Insurance Adjusters

There are several types of insurance adjusters beyond staff adjusters, these include: 

  • Independent Adjuster – A contract insurance adjuster that receives work from independent adjuster (IA) firms. 
  • Public Adjuster – Hired by policyholders, rather than insurance companies or IA firms, to advocate for their interest in a disputed claim.
  • Daily Adjuster – These are typically more experienced adjusters. Either an independent or staff adjuster that is location-bound but claim-agnostic. 
  • Catastrophe Adjuster – This role is commonly undertaken by novice adjusters and involves traveling to the scene of weather or natural disasters.

Staff Adjuster – FAQ

What is the difference between a staff adjuster and an independent adjuster?

A staff adjuster is a salaried employee of insurance companies. Comparatively, an independent adjuster is a contract position, hired by independent adjuster (IA) firms to investigate claims for a variety of companies and claim types. 

What is the highest paid adjuster?

Independent adjusters have the opportunity to make the most income of any insurance adjuster. The high range of income independent adjusters can make is around $118,000 per year. In comparison, staff adjuster’s high range of income is around $105,000 per year. 

What are the duties of an adjuster?

An insurance adjuster’s job is to investigate insurance claims. This includes assessing damages, determining policy coverage, settling claims, detecting fraud, and conducting a general investigation of the claim and all relevant records.