Actuaries are specially trained to minimize the financial risks that companies and clients may face. Using their expert knowledge of business, finance and statistics, they assess the specific situation and then determine the degree of risk for individuals or organizations. Most of these professionals are employed by the insurance industry. Other employers for actuarial jobs include financial service industries and government agencies.
These professionals have strong skills in subjects like mathematics and statistics. While working for insurance companies, they determine the cost of events like death, injury, property loss etc. Though most of the actuaries work the standard 40 hours a week, they may spend more hours depending on specific job requirements. Those who work as consulting actuaries spend much of their time in traveling from one place to another. They move to meet with different clients.
To become an actuary, candidates should also possess computer proficiency. They make use of a wide range of statistics software to perform their task. Computer skills, therefore, are very essential to perform these tasks. These professionals create spreadsheet and databases to make a clear assessment of a client’s specific situation. Meeting with clients takes much of the consulting actuaries’ time.
Educational Qualification & Training
To kick start your career as an actuary, you should possess a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or statistics. The typical coursework of a training program includes training in calculus, economics, life contingencies and actuarial models. To become successful, candidates will need to pass professional certification examinations. With growing experience, skill set and advanced training, actuaries can also be promoted to upper level supervisory and management positions.
The majority of actuaries work for the insurance industry. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for actuary jobs will increase much faster than the average of all other occupations. The expanding insurance industry creates plentiful job opportunities for actuaries. The predicted job growth in this field is 24% through to the year 2016. Candidates who possess adequate educational qualification, relevant experience and have passed at least one professional certification exam will reap the maximum employment benefits.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, actuaries earned a median annual income of around $95,420 in the year 2007. The starting salary offered to bachelor degree holders in this field is around $53,754. The annual salary of an actuary varies depending on their educational qualification, working experience and the nature and size of employer. Those who have multiple years of work experience can earn an annual income as high as $107,080. Management, technical consulting services and the scientific industry offer the highest salary to actuaries.