An Auto Body Estimator, also known as a Collision Estimator, specializes in assessing automobile damage. When an automobile is damaged due to a vehicle accident, fire or natural disaster, the estimator is the person who determines the extent of that damage. Estimators usually create their estimates using software that has access to real-time data. The estimator's skills and experience, however, are very important because he or she must not only identify the direct damage, but also the indirect damage, such as parts that must be repaired or replaced due to damage to another component.
Insurance Auto Body Estimator Education Requirements
Typically, states require Auto Body Estimators to have a permit. Initial approval for the permit requires certain licenses and certifications. Permits also require renewal, which may involve re-licensing and re-certification as well as gaining new licenses and certifications. For Auto Body Estimators licensed in another state, most states have programs in place that ease the transition. For a freelance Auto Body Estimator, the permit is all that is needed. Most employers will require a high school degree, and some insurance companies may even require a vocational degree or a bachelor's degree.
Insurance Auto Body Estimator Job Market
According to statistics, there are approximately 310 new openings for Auto Body Estimator jobs every year. The market is slowly shrinking though, and a 5-percent reduction is expected in the next decade. Insurance companies account for the vast majority of available jobs, and location does not have a significant effect on earning potential. Auto Body Estimators can also assume a position as an Automotive Instructor, Claims Adjuster and Vehicle Estimator in other domains.
Insurance Auto Body Estimator Salary
Entry-level Auto Body Estimators can expect to make around $21.19 an hour, or $44,080 annually. The median salary is $29.65 an hour and $61,660 per year. Despite the shrinking market for Auto Body Estimator jobs, salary is up approximately $1.50 an hour based on the previously available statistics.