fbpx Where do actuarial salary surveys come from?

Where do actuarial salary surveys come from?

Where do actuarial salary surveys come from?

All salary surveys start the same way, with data. What separates one salary survey from the next is how that data is collected, organized and ultimately analyzed. The DW Simpson Actuarial Salary Survey collects over 3,000 new data points each year. Each data point comes from a job placement or a salary update from the thousands of actuaries we work with regularly.  As the largest actuarial recruitment firm, we collect more data than anyone else, and are the most trusted resource for salary surveys.

We collect an array of information which includes: years of experience, exam progress, base salary, bonus, total compensation, designation, location, skills, discipline, company type, gender, advanced degrees, and several other factors.  We then take that information and slice & dice it as many ways as possible.  Our top level graphs segment out Life, Health, Pension and Property & Casualty salary data.   From there we break each industry down by career level (entry, student, associate & fellow) and business type (insurance, consulting & reinsurance).   We also have graphs that are broken out state-by-state, by gender, and others for non-traditional actuarial jobs.

In the past, our salary survey only included matrices for Life, Health, Pension and P&C actuaries.  Each cell simply stated a salary range that included the top and bottom 10th percentile.  This was a great simplistic approach (which we still publish), however, our clients and job seekers always want to see the data.  That led to the addition of salary graphs and trend lines, which allow you to see all of our data in one visualization.   Simply find the graph that best fits your experience, and plot your years of experience to find how much your peers are earning.

If you’re a student health actuary working in consulting, we have a graph for that.


FCAS-ReIf you’re an FCAS working in reinsurance, we have a graph for that too.  We also have dozens of state-by-state salary surveys, separated out by discipline.  If we don’t have the salary information you’re looking for on our website, simply contact us and we’ll respond with a customized salary survey that matches your experience.

In addition to our United States actuarial salary surveys, we also have international salary surveys from over 20 different countries, including: Canada, Bermuda, UK, South Africa, India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and more.  Since this is our first year publishing an international survey, we are constantly looking for more data.  If you’re an actuary and work abroad, please submit your information for our next survey here.


If you have any questions or comments about our salary survey, please submit your comments below.  You may also contact Tom Troceen directly if you have any specific requests for information or clarification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the DW Simpson actuarial salary survey accurate?

Our actuarial salary survey is as accurate as they come.  We are the largest actuarial recruitment firm and have been in business for over 25 years.  We talk to thousands of actuaries each year, and only gather salary data from actuaries we have ongoing relationships with.

We do not email thousands of people asking for a number, because we understand that garbage in equals garbage out.  Every data point in our survey comes from a job placement or an actuary we have placed in the past that has sent us their updated salary.

Simply put:

Most Job Placements = Most Data = Most Trusted Salary Survey

What's the difference between DW Simpson vs other actuarial recruitment salary surveys?

Unlike other salary surveys, we actually show you the raw data.  DW Simpson was the first to publish a comprehensive actuarial salary survey over 15 years ago, and we are the first to show the data.

We recently started publishing scatter plots & trend lines, so you can visualize our data in its entirety.   We then break this information down into subgroups to focus on discipline, career level, and type of business (insurance, consulting & reinsurance).

Beyond that, if you have any questions about your specific experience, we will gladly create a salary survey that narrows down the data that matches your experience, location, education, exam progress, or any other factor you choose.

Simply put, we give you more information than anyone else.  If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, contact us and we’ll provide you with the information you need.

Does DW Simpson publish an International Salary Survey?

Yes, and you can find our various graphs on our salary survey page.  These graphs include Canada, Bermuda, UK, European Union, South Africa, India, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and several other countries.  If you do not see your country listed, please email us for more information.  We only publish salary surveys that have a minimum amount of data.  If you would like to participate in our International Actuarial Salary Survey, please submit your information here.

Have a question that hasn't been answered?

Leave a comment using the form below, and we’ll get back to you with an answer.  If you’re looking for more data, we can help with that, too!

Click here to download the 2015 Actuarial Salary Survey.

2015 Salary Survey (PDF)

About the Author

Tom-TroceenTom Troceen is currently the Chief Technology Officer for DW Simpson and regularly attends meetings held by the SOA, CAS, SEAC, IABA and ICA.  Tom compiles the annual DW Simpson Actuarial Salary Survey which is the most trusted and comprehensive salary survey for actuaries.  He also runs the largest social network for actuaries at the Actuarial Outpost.

You may contact Tom at tom.troceen@dwsimpson.com with any questions or comments.

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