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A Career as an Actuary
Actuarial Science is concerned with the random events that affect human life or property and the financial impact that the occurrence of one of these events may have. Using statistical and economic techniques to evaluate the financial, economic and business implications of future events, actuaries design financial security programs which focus on life, health, property, casualty, retirement, demographic, economic and investment possibilities.
An actuary must have sound knowledge of mathematics, especially mathematical probability and statistics, and should be familiar with economics, computer science, social science, law, and the business environment. In additional, an actuary must be a good communicator to explain things to non-actuaries. The comprehensive understanding of both financial and technical intricacies makes actuaries the most influential of professionals whose work affects virtually every industry in existence.
Most actuaries are employed by insurance companies. Others are in consulting firms, providing actuarial services to smaller insurance companies, banks, labor unions and a variety of business firms. Still others are employed by federal and state government in regulating the insurance and pension industries and in providing actuarial guidance to social security systems.
The insurance industry is steadily expanding and the demand for actuaries continues to be great. Starting salaries for actuaries are very attractive and increase substantially as experience and more exam credits are gained.
The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Actuary as the Top 1 best job in 2010.
Qualification as an Actuary
Recognition as an actuary is achieved by qualifying for membership in a professional actuarial organization. The Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), and the American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA) are the most popular three organizations. Membership in all three organizations is achieved by examinations.