Actuaries are responsible for estimating risk in order to help insurance companies set premiums for insurance policies. An actuary will analyze data in order to estimate the probability of certain events such as injury or loss of property, often using sophisticated computerized systems in order to determine how much an insurance company will have to pay out on a claim.
Factors these professionals will take into account will include age, sex, and driving history if an actuary is working for insurance agency. Most will provide advice to clients on a contractual basis, and they may also have to testify in court if an individual is hurt or killed in an accident, in order to estimate the value of future benefits.
Most actuaries will work 40 hours a week at a desk, mostly utilizing computer Technology in order to determine insurance premiums. The job itself is a fairly low stress and will usually require very little over time, although consulting actuaries may have to travel to me with their clients.
These professionals will need a strong background in fields such as statistics, business, and math, and they are usually required by an insurance agency to have a bachelor’s degree and to pass a battery of exams so that they can become certified. Actuarial licensing is provided by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society, which certify individuals in the fields of life Insurance, retirement, finance, health benefits, investment.
On the job training will usually start out performing various jobs such as supervising clerks, preparing research, and writing letters, moving from one position to another as they advance in responsibility.
In 2006, actuaries had over 18,000 jobs in America, with more than half being hired by insurance agencies, and the rest being independent brokers selling insurance policies. Job growth is expected to increase rapidly over the next 10 years, and employment opportunities for those with bachelor’s degrees should remain high in the future.
In 2006, the middle 50th percentile of actuarial jobs made between $59,000 and $115,000, with the Life Office Management Association reporting that entry level professionals will earn an average of $53,111 in their first year. Actuaries with management responsibilities will often receive higher rates of pay, and most of those who work for insurance agencies will receive excellent benefit coverage.