How To Become An Actuary
Many people are familiar with accountants and bookkeepers. On the other hand, actuaries are a type of profession that is still relatively unknown. There will be many jobs available in this profession in the upcoming years, and this could be a great career choice for those willing to explore this path.
If you love math, enjoy persuading others to make a decision, and are good at making predictions, a career as an actuary may be good for you.
Why Become An Actuary
An actuary helps to assess the risk involved for a company. They use data, mathematics, statistics, and probability to help understand what kinds of risks are involved when making any kinds of decisions.
For example, insurance companies may be interested in knowing what are the probabilities of events such as natural disasters, sicknesses, etc. and what are the estimated costs involved in such events.
An actuary helps make data-based predictions and presents them to their clients and companies. This is very important for the client, who uses this information to make internal decisions.
Actuaries use computers and computer programs to help them with their works. They can run software programs to help them analyze data and gather information. From there they can produce charts and graphics and compile it into information to present to their clients.
Actuaries help companies design their policies and help companies figure out what kinds of decisions they should make, based on the results that have been discovered. For example, an actuary might give their recommendation to an insurance company on how much their premiums should be.
This is a great career for somebody who is great at math, loves working with numbers and data, is good at making predictions about the future, enjoys working with abstract concepts, and wants to help companies make good choices that will impact them.
Actuaries should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Loves math
- Problem solver
- Good communicator
Actuary Work Environment
Actuaries work in an office setting. They typically work with a computer, analyzing data and information that they receive. They may need to put together graphics, presentations and other information to give to clients.
Often actuaries work in a team setting, receiving information from coworkers to help put together a project. Some actuaries may be required to travel as part of their job. An actuary typically works full time and regular office hours.
The median annual salary for an actuary was $100,610 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While there are many who are knowledgeable of other mathematical careers such as accounting, being an actuary is not as well-known. People may be drawn to the actuary career for the lucrative salary. The salary for actuaries may be dependent on several factors.
Salary may depend on what sort of facility a person works for, such as the government, an insurance company, or some other enterprise. A person’s salary may increase depending on years of experience. All of this may be a factor in determining salary.
Actuary Career Outlook
Employment for actuaries is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is much faster than average growth compared to other occupations in the United States.
Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of products and calculate the risk of those products for companies. More actuaries will be needed to help companies manage their own risk. As the career of actuaries become more widely known, more people will be taking advantage and signing up to become part of this profession.
If you are interested in becoming an actuary, read more below to find out how.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. An undergraduate degree is necessary to become an actuary. There are several programs to choose from including mathematics, finance, economics, and more. Enroll in a program that you enjoy. This program will give you a strong foundation in the field and allow you to see if becoming an actuary is something you would like to pursue. It takes four years to receive your bachelor’s degree.
Step 2: Examinations. You must be certified in order to perform as an actuary. There are two associations that offer certifications:
- the Society of Actuaries (SOA)
- the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)
Please note that the certification process to become an actuary is not a simple one.
The Society of Actuaries requires that a person pass five examinations in order to become certified. The Casualty Actuarial Society requires the completion of seven examinations.
Each of these examinations requires months of studying and preparation. Because of this, it typically takes anywhere from four to six years for a prospective person to pass all of the exams required to become an actuary.
Step 3: Get certified. After you become certified, you are now established as an actuary. You must continue to taking continuing education courses in order to maintain your status as an actuary.