What does an Actuary do?
Actuaries apply analytical skills, like math, statistics, and financial theory, to quantify risk and financial consequences. Actuaries work to evaluate how likely future events are and then minimize the risk associated with them. The majority of actuaries work for insurance companies as proprerty and casualty insurance actuaries, retirement benefits actuaries, life and accident insurance actuaries, health insurance actuaries, and enterprise risk actuaries.
Actuaries usually have a Bachelor's degree in mathematics, staistics, or actuarial science. Additionally, most actuaries choose to pursue an Associate or Fellow designation by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries in order to improve employability. Actuaries must have excellent analytical skills and good business sense, and be self-motivated.
- Apply advanced actuarial techniques across all tasks
- Develop, maintain, and analyze projection models
- Coordinate with external actuary and auditing firms for interim and annual actuarial information
- Apply sound actuarial principles and maintain actuarial qualifications in compliance with regulations
- Reconcile and analyze actuarial inputs and outputs
- Collaborate with key leaders in order to identify and meet information needs
- Establish actuarial procedures and document them for internal use
- Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Actuarial Science, or related field
- Associate or Fellow CAS or SOA designation preferred
- 3-5 years actuarial experience
- Advanced Microsoft Excel and Access skills
- Strong familiarity with GAAP
- Advanced familiarity with a wide variety of actuarial functions
- Proficient at working with large data sets
- High degree of attention to detail
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
Average Base Pay
Actuary Career Path
Learn how to become an Actuary, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
“Great actuarial development program for junior analysts to guide you through your career and exams.”
“• Opportunities to learn and build domain technical expertise and work with some of the best minds in the Industry.”
“People that work with are some of the closest friends I have made during my time here.”
“The people are nice and great to work with.”
“People are nice and friendly.”
“Interesting work and good work life balance”
“Good work and life balance”
“Learned a lot; good work and life balance”
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of actuaries
Actuaries spend their workday calculating financial risks but the daily work varies. Their most common daily tasks include performing trend analyses and assessing rates for various risk groups. They also spend daily time documenting their analyses in written reports or communicating their findings in meetings.
Actuarial science is a good career because this highly-paid field is consistently in demand. Working conditions are usually very comfortable and there's often room for advancement. Actuaries usually work standard nine-to-five hours and some can work remotely from a home office.
Actuaries are paid very well, with an average base pay for an actuary in the U.S. of $120,000 per year. Salaries usually increase with experience. Actuaries also have many alternative career options, such as risk management, if they want to change professions.
Like many jobs, working as an actuary has challenges at times. The profession has rigorous ongoing education requirements and challenging qualification examinations. It also demands many hours of calculation and analysis on a computer, which may result in less social interaction than other careers.