Actuaries are talented individuals with outstanding aptitude for numbers and data. They can look at a jumble of statistics that would make most people scratch their heads in confusion and turn it into reasonable predictions and assessments. They are professionals who analyze risks and try to predict future events based on past data. The insurance industry relies heavily on actuaries. On any given day, an actuary may:
Compile data using sophisticated computer technology
Create lists, tables, and charts that make data easier to understand for others
Work with fellow team members to help make sure an insurance company's rates are profitable while still in line with the competition
Prepare and give presentations to explain the meaning of certain data or trends
There are a few different types of actuaries, including health insurance actuaries, life insurance actuaries and property and casualty insurance actuaries.
Actuarial Job Education Requirements
In order to succeed in an actuarial job, individuals need extensive training, both in classrooms and on the job. Actuaries must hold a bachelor's degree in a field related to actuarial work, such as mathematics, statistics or actuarial science. They also need to take business classes that help them understand the ins and outs of the insurance industry and the business world in general. Before officially becoming an actuary, candidates need to pass a certification exam.
Actuaries fresh out of college usually work on a team alongside those who have worked in the field for a time and can share their practical experience. Some employers will hire applicants who have not yet passed a certification exam and help their new team members through the certification process by paying for study materials and providing special training.
Actuarial Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth that is far above average in the actuarial job market in upcoming years. Part of this is because the nation's evolving medical needs will mean that the health insurance industry will require more support. However, unlike other jobs in the accounting arena, like general accounting jobsand billing accountant jobs, actuaries enter into a relatively sparsely populated field. This means that even a large percentage of growth in actuarial jobs does not necessarily mean that openings will be plentiful.
Actuarial Job Salary Information
Actuaries make a comfortable living. The median annual wage is above $90,000. About 10 percent of actuaries earn less than $55,000, and about 10 percent earn more than $175,000.