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What Do Actuary Do?

Actuary Definition Analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. May ascertain insurance rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.

Actuary Responsibilities

  • Testify before public agencies on proposed legislation affecting businesses.
  • Explain changes in contract provisions to customers.
  • Ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves and liabilities necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
  • Determine equitable basis for distributing surplus earnings under participating insurance and annuity contracts in mutual companies.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of reinsurance with other companies.
  • Construct probability tables for events such as fires, natural disasters, and unemployment, based on analysis of statistical data and other pertinent information.

What an Actuary Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Actuaries say are important on the job.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Systems Evaluation: Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

  • Actuary
  • Insurance Actuary
  • Retirement Actuary
  • Actuarial Associate
  • Actuarial Manager

Actuary Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 23,600 jobs in the United States for Actuary. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 22.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,300 new jobs for Actuary by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,100 positions for Actuary per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Actuary are Colorado, North Carolina, and Iowa. Watch out if you plan on working in District of Columbia, Washington, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Actuaries Salary

Actuaries make between $61,140 and $186,110 a year.

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Actuaries who work in New York, District of Columbia, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Actuaries make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $102,080
Arkansas $87,730
California $120,680
Colorado $119,660
Connecticut $132,910
District of Columbia $129,540
Florida $107,850
Georgia $118,790
Idaho $121,590
Illinois $110,430
Indiana $100,950
Iowa $107,390
Kansas $113,910
Maine $106,660
Maryland $98,500
Massachusetts $114,050
Michigan $95,120
Minnesota $116,150
Mississippi $107,910
Missouri $100,180
Nebraska $106,630
Nevada $86,200
New Hampshire $129,110
New Jersey $111,580
New York $150,950
North Carolina $117,190
Ohio $100,620
Oregon $107,410
Pennsylvania $120,090
Rhode Island $102,730
Texas $107,260
Utah $74,180
Vermont $98,500
Washington $131,330
Wisconsin $106,850

What Tools do Actuaries Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Actuaries may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Structured query language SQL
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • R
  • Oracle software
  • Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA
  • Statistical software

How do I Become an Actuary?

Individuals working as an Actuary have obtained the following education levels:

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Actuary?

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Where do Actuaries Work?

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Actuaries work in the following industries:

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Those thinking about becoming an Actuary might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Actuary in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: QWFP via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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