What Do Actuaries Do?

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The primary role for actuaries is to analyze the financial costs of both risk and uncertainty. In order to do so, they use mathematics, statistics and financial theory to evaluate the risk that an event will happen and help clients create policies that will minimize the cost of the risk.

Typical on-the-job tasks for actuaries include estimating the probability and cost of death, sickness, accidents or natural disasters; compiling statistics for further analyses; and designing, testing and administering insurance policies, investments and pension plans to maximize profitability.

actuary career

What Are Actuaries Known For?

  • Skilled at mathematics and statistical analysis
  • Good at complex problem solving
  • Excellent deductive and inductive reasoning skills

What Is the Job Outlook for Actuaries?

Employment of acturaries is expected to grow by 26% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The annual median pay for acturaries is $93,680. Candidates for these positions should see another 6,300 jobs added to the U.S. economy during this time period.[i]

How Might I Prepare for this Career?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), actuaries require a bachelor’s degree and must pass a series of exams in order to become certified professionals. Often, an actuary will have an undergrad degree in mathematics, statistics, science or actuarial science.[i]

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) offer associate and fellowship levels of certification.  To become certified, you must complete coursework in economics, applied statistics and corporate finance and successfully pass your exams.

Which Online Degrees Might Support this Career Goal?


[i] bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm

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