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Career and Education Opportunities for Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewers in Chattanooga, Tennessee

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for eligibility and occupancy interviewers in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. About 3,720 people are currently employed as eligibility and occupancy interviewers in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to grow 7% to about 3,960 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for eligibility and occupancy interviewers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.2% over the next eight years. Eligibility and occupancy interviewers generally determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.

A person working as an eligibility and occupancy interviewer can expect to earn about $14 per hour or $30,940 annually on average in Tennessee and about $18 per hour or $39,310 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Eligibility and occupancy interviewers earn more than people working in the category of Human Resources and Customer Service generally in Tennessee and more than people in the Human Resources and Customer Service category nationally.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree to start your career as an eligibility and occupancy interviewer. Given that the most common education level for eligibility and occupancy interviewers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become an eligibility and occupancy interviewer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer

Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, eligibility and occupancy interviewers determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers interpret and explain data such as eligibility requirements and applicants' legal rights. They also answer applicants' questions about benefits and claim procedures. Equally important, eligibility and occupancy interviewers have to initiate procedures to grant or terminate assistance, or refer applicants to other agencies for assistance. They are often called upon to compile and evaluate personal and financial data in order to confirm completeness and accuracy, and to establish eligibility status. They are expected to interview benefits recipients at specified intervals to certify their eligibility for continuing benefits. Finally, eligibility and occupancy interviewers keep archives of assigned cases, and ready required reports.

Every day, eligibility and occupancy interviewers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for eligibility and occupancy interviewers to check with employers or other references to confirm answers and obtain further data. They are often called upon to interview and investigate applicants for public assistance to gather data pertinent to their applications. They also ready applications and forms for applicants for such purposes as school enrollment and medical services. They are sometimes expected to furnish social staff with pertinent data gathered during applicant interviews. Somewhat less frequently, eligibility and occupancy interviewers are also expected to compute and authorize amounts of assistance for programs such as grants and food stamps.

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers sometimes are asked to conduct annual and special housing reviews and home visits to insure conformance to regulations. and monitor the payments of benefits throughout the duration of a claim. And finally, they sometimes have to compile and evaluate personal and financial data in order to confirm completeness and accuracy, and to establish eligibility status.

Like many other jobs, eligibility and occupancy interviewers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chattanooga include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Credit Investigator. Investigate history and credit standing of individuals or business establishments applying for credit. Telephone or write to credit departments of business and service establishments to obtain information about applicant's credit standing.
  • Human Resources Administrator. Compile and keep personnel records. Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports on ability, and date of and reason for termination. Compile and type reports from employment records. File employment records. Search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.
  • Insurance Processing Clerk. Process applications for, changes to, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party's specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer Training

Chattanooga State Technical Community College - Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga State Technical Community College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097. Chattanooga State Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,488 students. Chattanooga State Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a medium sized university located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,807 students and an admission rate of 79%. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a bachelor's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Housing Counselor: A Certified Housing Counselor objectively assesses the client's current financial situation; identifies problem areas the client may face recommends appropriate actions to help clients obtain and maintain adequate housing; evaluates the housing and financial status of low, moderate and middle-income families; and understands the essential workings of all aspects of the industry in order to help clients make appropriate housing decisions.

For more information, see the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education website.

Certified Forensic Interviewer: The objective of this certification program is to create comprehensive, universally accepted professional standards combined with an objective measure of an interviewer's knowledge of those standards.

For more information, see the Center for Interviewer Standards and Assessment Ltd. website.

National Workforce Professional - Tier 1: Professional certification exam for National Tier 1.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

NFJP Grantee Workforce Professional - Tier 1: Exam to become certified as a National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) Professional.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Specialist in Housing Credit Management: The Specialist in Housing Credit Management(SHCM) certification has been developed by the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) especially for management professionals involved with properties developed and operated under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

For more information, see the National Affordable Housing Management Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.