Actuaries

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Also known as:  Actuarial Associate, Actuarial Mathematician, Health Actuary, Insurance Actuary, Pricing Actuary, Product Development Actuary

ABOUT ACTUARY CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
If you work and pay taxes, carry insurance on your home or car, belong to an HMO, or are putting money away for your retirement, you depend on the work of actuaries. Actuaries make up a rare breed of problem solver for the business world - so unique, there are only 19,000 of them at work in North Am ...
erica, but they are in demand in the insurance and financial securities industries because of their ability to put a price tag on probabilities.

They improve financial decision-making by using mathematical models to project future risks. Actuaries enter the field with specialized math knowledge in statistics, calculus and probability, and sharp analytical, problem solving, and project management skills. They are well versed in finance, accounting, and economics, and they're computer experts.

But beyond being a whiz with numbers, actuaries need to be able to translate their conclusions into plain language for clients and coworkers. On-the-job training for actuaries can last more than a decade, as they pass a series of 8 required exams to become fully accredited. The Society of Actuaries recommends at least 400 hours of study for each exam.

Opportunities for actuarial work are diversifying. Multinational firms and government offices increasingly call on actuaries to help evaluate the financial implications of uncertain future events. With this valuable expertise, salaries for accredited actuaries can top 6 figures.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. May ascertain insurance rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Testify in court as expert witness or to provide legal evidence on matters such as the value of potential lifetime earnings of a person who is disabled or killed in an accident.
Testify before public agencies on proposed legislation affecting businesses.
Determine equitable basis for distributing surplus earnings under participating insurance and annuity contracts in mutual companies.
Determine policy contract provisions for each type of insurance.
Construct probability tables for events such as fires, natural disasters, and unemployment, based on analysis of statistical data and other pertinent information.
Provide expertise to help financial institutions manage risks and maximize returns associated with investment products or credit offerings.
Collaborate with programmers, underwriters, accounts, claims experts, and senior management to help companies develop plans for new lines of business or improving existing business.
Analyze statistical information to estimate mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates.
Design, review and help administer insurance, annuity and pension plans, determining financial soundness and calculating premiums.
Provide advice to clients on a contract basis, working as a consultant.
Determine or help determine company policy, and explain complex technical matters to company executives, government officials, shareholders, policyholders, or the public.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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