The Top 10 Reasons to Become an Actuary

Actuaries are consistently found at the top of lists detailing the most desirable careers. But why exactly should you consider the actuarial profession? Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to become an actuary.

10. Great Work Environment

Actuaries don’t have to do any back-breaking labour or get their hands dirty. Most jobs are located in office environments in large cities. These firms generally have a bit of money so the workplace would be very comfortable and professional.

9. You Get to Work with Models Every Day

Ok, maybe not the models from FHM, but actuarial models are just as good, if not better! Can an FHM model predict how many people are going to die tomorrow? Exactly. Anyway, you still get to use maths in your day job. If you are considering a job as an actuary, there is a pretty good chance that you have a good aptitude for maths. As an actuary, you would be using maths in most aspects of your work. It is a great career path if you want to put what you learnt in your degree.

8. Well Respected Career

While actuaries are less visible, they are very well respected by those who know what they are. They are generally considered to be in the upper echelon of careers along with doctors and lawyers. The entry process may be a factor in this as the professional examinations are so difficult. Qualified actuaries will have had to work hard to get to that position.

7. Varied Work

A common misconception of actuaries is that they just sit behind a desk number-crunching all day. While there are these sorts of opportunities for people who are less social, there are positions where the work is very varied. Some may deal with analysing data, reporting to upper management about results, giving presentations to trustees, writing reports and liaising with clients are all possible. Trainee actuaries are sometimes rotated around different departments before they specialise so as to get a broad view of the different roles.

6. You can quickly end a Conversation about your Work

“So, what do you work as?”

“I’m an actuary.”

“Oh right…”

5. Job Security and Options

While there a not that many actuarial jobs outside of big cities, there isn’t much of a shortage within them. The number of qualified actuaries is not very large at all. The number in the UK is only about 9,000. So for any position there isn’t that much competition. Headhunters are frequently employed to recruit suitable actuaries to firms. The job security of actuaries is also relatively high compared to other careers.

4. International Career

As a fully qualified actuary you would be a very valuable commodity. There is a lot of potential for actuaries regarding where they want to work. Actuaries are in demand in a number of countries, particularly those in growing economies such as in Asia. If you want to fulfill an ambition of working abroad, then this is certainly possible with a career as an actuary.

3. Challenging and Stimulating Work

Only the most able and determined of people make it through the actuarial exams to become fully fledged actuaries. The daily work is not as demanding as the exams but it is still challenging. The daily work requires a range of skills. A good business sense, an analytical mind and the ability to get your head around difficult concepts are all necessary. Problem solving and independent thinking are great tools that are needed also.

2. Good Working Hours

A great number of actuarial jobs provide good working hours. These may be regular 9 to 5, Monday to Friday jobs. 40 hours a week is not as bad as some careers where you have to do lots of overtime. Although there are some actuarial positions where this is necessary, it is not the norm. Considering some of the jobs with similar salaries, 40 hours a week is quite reasonable.

1. The Money

One of the greatest reasons to become an actuary is, of course, the money. Actuaries can start off with a salary of £20,000 and earn anywhere up to or over £100,000 in the final part of their career. Actuaries are consistently rated as one of the best paying jobs out there. It is certainly one of the highest paid for Maths graduates and indeed for most degrees that only require four years of study.

Actuarial Jobs – Are You Interested in a Career As an Actuary?

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.

Careers in Actuarial Science

Continued growth in the Indian insurance industry promises great employment opportunities for the students of actuarial science in the industry. Actuarial Science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries. It involves a number of interrelated subjects, including finance, probability and statistics, and economics. Qualified actuaries provide commercial, financial, and prudential advice particularly when long-term management and planning are critical factors for the concerned organization.

Considerably, there is more demand for qualified actuaries in general insurance than in health insurance segment. Actuarial techniques are powerful tools required to manage and regulate the functioning of any general insurance company. IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) has acknowledged the role of an ‘appointed actuary’ in general insurance companies with his services being utilized in Pricing, Claim Reserving, Reinsurance, and Investment.

Though shortage of actuaries has been felt in the health insurance also as there is an increase in demand from the private players in the sector. Moreover, the low rate of success in the final stages of the exam conducted by IAI (Institute of Actuaries of India) has further decreased the chances of these aspirants to join the league. Besides this exam, you need to be a fellow of IAI and possess a certificate of practice issued by this institute.

Aspirants of IAI can be considered as a student member if they score at least 85 percent marks in mathematics / statistics and are recommended by two fellow members of the society. With the medium of instruction in English at 10+2 level, graduation or post graduation in relevant subjects such as mathematics, economics, and statistics as well as students with a degree in engineering or MBA (finance) can also apply. BPOs and management consultancy firms also hire the services of actuaries. Typically, actuaries work in the fields of finance, general insurance, life insurance, investment and risk management, and pension and social security.