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Six Ways To Excel In Comp Arena Without A College Degree


Six Ways To Excel In the Comp Arena With No College Degree

The Comp arena has more than six ways to excel without a college degree.   Below is a list of the Top Six, in my humble opinion.

Is there a way to excel in the WC industry without a college degree?   This was a question posed to me last month when I was attending the NCCI Data Reporting conference in Palm Beach.

Picture Of Hands Comp Arena College

A college degree used to be the minimum requirement in the ’70s to the ’90s for most carriers.   However, the tide changed in the mid to late nineties.   There are substitutes that will help depending on your track in the WC industry.

The best to ways excel in WC without a college degree are:

  1. Working your way up from the bottom.  This involves having the patience of a great fisherman/woman and waiting for your turn in line.   Many great adjusters, agents, loss prevention reps, etc. have started at an admin assistant position and worked their way up the ladder.   It is not the easiest method.
  2. Obtaining designations from the AICPCU institute. The classes do require some dedication to studying a certain course.  Having designations will always help if you are attempting #1 on this list. Jack Keir For Success has helped me with my designations.   Some designations require as little as three courses.
  3. Finding a mentor.  One will be shocked by how much help can be obtained in the WC industry by asking.   Most WC-industry workers will bend over backward to help.  You can have many mentors that are experts in just one aspect of WC.   However, you will need an overall mentor.   I did excel in the jobs where I had a mentor.
  4. Having insurance industry expertise in another line of insurance.  For instance, subrogation is a tricky subject as there is so little training on liability insurance.  Having a former auto, GL, or other types of liability adjuster in the WC claims area- priceless.
  5. Obtaining your license immediately.  Adjusters and agents have to be licensed in almost every state.   Being licensed shows dedication and the WC insurer or TPA does not have to go through the licensure training.
  6. Having a good work personality.  
    Example of Comp Arena student
    Wikimedia Commons – David Shankbone

    This is the real secret out of the six ways to excel.  People that play well with others are the ones that are sought out when a position is open.  The person making the recommendation to hire someone may end up working with that person on a daily basis.

  7. Bonus – Being a professional.  This shines above all else and works with #6.  When you walk in the door in the morning and until you leave the office in the evening, professionalism is the key.   Workers Comp can be a very high-stress job at times.  Keep being professional.

Check out The Two Most Powerful Phrases In The Insurance Industry for more on this subject.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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