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Also known as:
Actuarial Associate, Actuarial Mathematician, Health Actuary, Insurance Actuary, Pricing Actuary, Product Development Actuary
See all Finance Careers.
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 America, 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.
|Critical decision making||
|Level of responsibilities||
|Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines||
|Dealing and handling conflict||
|Competition for this position||
|Communication with others||
|Work closely with team members, clients etc.||
|Comfort of the work setting||
|Exposure to extreme environmental conditions||
|Exposure to job hazards||
Testify in court as expert witness or to provide legal evidence on matters such as the value of potential lifetime earnings of a person disabled or killed in an accident.
Testify before public agencies on proposed legislation affecting businesses.
Construct probability tables for events such as fires, natural disasters, and unemployment, based on analysis of statistical data and other pertinent information.
Negotiate terms and conditions of reinsurance with other companies.
Determine policy contract provisions for each type of insurance.
Collaborate with programmers, underwriters, accounts, claims experts, and senior management to help companies develop plans for new lines of business or improvements to existing business.
Analyze statistical information to estimate mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates.
Provide advice to clients on a contract basis, working as a consultant.
Design, review, and help administer insurance, annuity and pension plans, determining financial soundness and calculating premiums.
Ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves and liabilities necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
Determine, or help determine, company policy, and explain complex technical matters to company executives, government officials, shareholders, policyholders, or the public.
|Analyzing Data or Information||Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.|
|Processing Information||Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.|
|Making Decisions and Solving Problems||Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.|
|Interacting With Computers||Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.|
|Getting Information||Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.|
|Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards||Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.|
|Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge||Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.|
|Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates||Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.|
|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.|
|English Language||Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.|
|Computers and Electronics||Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.|
|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.|
|Customer and Personal Service||Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
|Education and Training||Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Speaking||Talking to others to convey information effectively.|