Where do you want to work?
Actuaries need a bachelor’s degree, typically in mathematics, actuarial science, statistics, or some other analytical field. Students must complete coursework in economics, applied statistics, and corporate finance, and must pass a series of exams to become certified professionals.Education
Actuaries must have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and business. Typically, an actuary has an undergraduate degree in mathematics, actuarial science, statistics, or some other analytical field.
To become certified professionals, students must complete coursework in economics, applied statistics, and corporate finance.
Students also should take classes outside of mathematics and business to prepare them for a career as an actuary. Coursework in computer science, especially programming languages, and the ability to use and develop spreadsheets, databases, and statistical analysis tools, are valuable. Classes in writing and public speaking will improve students’ ability to communicate in the business world.Licenses, Certification, and Registrations
Two professional societies—the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA)—sponsor programs leading to full professional status. The CAS and SOA offer two levels of certification: associate and fellow.
The CAS certifies actuaries who work in the property and casualty field, which includes automobile, homeowners, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation insurance.
The SOA certifies actuaries who work in life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits, investments, and finance.
The main requirement for associate certification in each society is the completion of exams. The SOA requires that candidates pass five exams for associate (ASA) certification. The CAS requires that candidates pass seven exams for associate (ACAS) certification.
Many employers expect students to have passed at least one of the initial actuary exams needed for professional certification before graduation.
In addition, both CAS and SOA require that candidates take seminars on professionalism. Both societies have mandatory e-learning courses for candidates.
It typically takes 4 to 6 years for an actuary to get an ACAS or an ASA certification because each exam requires hundreds of hours of study and months of preparation.
After becoming associates, actuaries typically take another 2 to 3 years to earn fellowship status.
The SOA offers fellowship certification in five separate tracks: life and annuities, group and health benefits, retirement benefits, investments, and finance/enterprise risk management. Unlike the SOA, the CAS does not offer specialized study tracks for fellowship certification.
Both the CAS and the SOA have a continuing education requirement. Most actuaries meet this requirement by attending training seminars that are sponsored by their employers or the societies.
Pension actuaries typically must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Applicants must meet certain experience requirements and pass two exams administered through the SOA to qualify for enrollment.Other Experience
Because there are different types of practice areas, including health, life, pension, and casualty, internships may be helpful for students deciding on which actuarial track to pursue.Training
Most entry-level actuaries start out as trainees. They are typically on teams with more experienced actuaries who serve as mentors. At first, they perform basic tasks, such as compiling data, but as they gain more experience, they may conduct research and write reports. Beginning actuaries may spend time working in other departments, such as marketing, underwriting, and product development, to learn all aspects of the company’s work and how actuarial work applies to them.
Most employers support their actuaries throughout the certification process. For example, employers typically pay the cost of exams and study materials. Many firms provide paid time to study and encourage their employees to set up study groups. Employees usually receive raises or bonuses for each exam that they pass.Advancement
Advancement depends largely on job performance and the number of actuarial exams passed. For example, actuaries who achieve fellowship status often supervise the work of other actuaries and provide advice to senior management. Actuaries with a broad knowledge of risk management and how it applies to business can rise to executive positions in their companies, such as chief risk officer or chief financial officer.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Actuaries use analytical skills to identify patterns and trends in complex sets of data to determine the factors that have an effect on certain types of events.
Communication skills. Actuaries must be able to explain complex technical matters to those without an actuarial background. They must also communicate clearly through the reports and memos that describe their work and recommendations.
Computer skills. Actuaries must know programming languages and be able to use and develop spreadsheets, databases, and statistical analysis tools.
Interpersonal skills. Actuaries serve as leaders and members of teams, so they must be able to listen to other people’s opinions and suggestions before reaching a conclusion.
Math skills. Actuaries quantify risk by using the principles of calculus, statistics, and probability.
Problem-solving skills. Actuaries identify risks and develop ways for businesses to manage those risks.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Associate, Reinsurance Actuary||Global Atlantic Financial Company||New York, NY||Dec 26, 2016||$160,000|
|Associate Actuary||Milliman, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Sep 17, 2016||$155,000|
|Associate Actuary||VOYA Services Company||Windsor, CT||Jun 17, 2016||$145,600|
|Senior Actuarial Associate||National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa.||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2015||$140,000|
|Senior Actuarial Associate||National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa.||New York, NY||Jan 10, 2015||$140,000|
|Associate Actuary||Milliman, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Sep 10, 2015||$140,000|
|Associate Actuary||Pacific Life Insurance Company||Aliso Viejo, CA||Nov 10, 2016||$138,467|
|Associate Actuary II||Independence Blue Cross, LLC||Philadelphia, PA||Aug 14, 2015||$138,195|
|Advanced Actuarial Associate||Hewitt Associates LLC||New York, NY||Aug 04, 2015||$136,200|
|Associate Actuary II||Independence Blue Cross, LLC||Philadelphia, PA||Oct 01, 2015||$135,886|
|Actuary Associate||Cambia Health Solutions, Inc.||Durham, NC||Jan 11, 2016||$134,000 -
|Associate Actuary||Humana||Louisville, KY||Jan 08, 2016||$133,598 -
|Associate Actuary||United States Fire Insurance Company||Eatontown, NJ||May 30, 2016||$130,000|
|Senior Actuarial Associate||New York Life Insurance Company||New York, NY||Sep 19, 2016||$130,000|
|Senior Actuarial Associate||Metlife Group, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 14, 2016||$102,814 -
|Actuarial Associate Acas||Farmers Group, Inc.||Wilmington, DE||Nov 09, 2016||$101,215|
|Actuarial Associate Acas||Farmers Group, Inc.||Wilmington, DE||Feb 02, 2016||$101,215|
|Senior Actuarial Associate||The Prudential Insurance Company of America||Newark, NJ||Apr 13, 2016||$100,838|
|Associate Actuary||Genworth North America Corporation||Richmond, VA||Jan 02, 2015||$100,568|
|Associate Actuary||Prudential Insurance Company of America||Hartford, CT||Dec 08, 2016||$100,500 -
|Associate Actuary-Annuities||The Prudential Insurance Company of America||Newark, NJ||Jul 12, 2015||$100,500 -
|Associate Actuary||Prudential Insurance Company of America||Newark, NJ||Aug 13, 2015||$100,500 -
|Actuarial Associate Experienced||Hewitt Associates LLC||San Francisco, CA||Jun 15, 2015||$85,300|
|Actuarial Associate||VOYA Insurance and Annuity Company||West Chester, PA||Feb 09, 2016||$84,900|
|Senior Actuarial Associate||Prudential Insurance Company of America||Newark, NJ||Aug 26, 2016||$84,500 -
|Actuarial Associate||VOYA Insurance and Annuity Company||West Chester, PA||Aug 15, 2016||$84,340|
|Actuarial Associate||VOYA Services Company||Windsor, CT||Sep 01, 2015||$83,625|
|Lead Actuarial Associate||Health Care Service Corporation||Chicago, IL||Sep 25, 2015||$82,035 -
|Associate Actuary||Pacificsource||Boise, ID||Aug 24, 2016||$81,600|
|H&B Associate Experienced-Actuary||Hewitt Associates LLC||Chicago, IL||Apr 01, 2015||$80,829|
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.