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What Is An Actuary?

What Is An Actuary?

What does an actuary do? What is their job description?  Who hires actuaries?  What types of actuarial jobs are available?  How much do actuaries make?  What are actuarial exams?

These are the frequently asked questions many college students ask when considering an actuarial science major.  In this video, we discuss some of the traditional actuarial jobs, and highlight other industries that have begun to hire actuaries.

Generally speaking, actuaries work for insurance, reinsurance and consulting companies.  They quantify the financial impact of risk, price insurance products based on statistical analysis, and help establish adequate reserves so companies remain solvent.  On a day-to-day basis, they may use excel or other software to analyze big data, or work with senior level staff to establish a risk averse business strategy.

Actuaries take a series of exams given by the Casualty Actuarial Society and Society of Actuaries.  There are specific exam tracks for Life, Health, Pension and Property & Casualty actuaries.  Each track may take between 5-10 years to attain the fellowship credential (FCAS or FSA).  The exam process starts with 4-5 preliminary exams plus VEE credits which are given after a student completes various college classes approved by the CAS & SOA.  Once all preliminary requirements are met, a student actuary becomes an associate actuary (ACAS or ASA).  At that point there are additional exams, modules and other coursework that is required to become a fellow.  Each exam may require up to 400 hours of study time.

Actuaries are some of the highest paid professionals in the insurance industry.  Their salary typically increases with each passed actuarial exam, and this is usually accompanied by a one time bonus.  If you would like more information on actuarial salaries and bonuses, please see our actuarial salary survey.

If you would like to see what types of jobs are currently available for actuaries, please view our full list of open actuarial jobs. You may also want to visit our job page for entry level and student level actuarial jobs.

If you have any other questions about the actuarial profession, please feel free to contact DW Simpson Global Actuarial & Analytics Recruitment anytime.

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Our team of entry level actuary recruiters are here to help answer your questions about your new actuarial career, salary & current job openings.  Whether you are a college student navigating through actuarial exams, or a Chief Actuary looking to hire student actuaries, contact us for more information about in demand skills, hot jobs & hiring trends.

For a full list of DW Simpson employees, please visit our recruiter biography page.

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