Actuaries play a key role in the insurance, financial, and business industries.
They assist businesses in assessing the level of risk present in their operations information necessary for making wise decisions.
It can be helpful to know what an actuary’s job entails and what to expect from it if you’re thinking about becoming one or pursuing a career in finance or insurance.
This post addresses several frequently asked inquiries regarding actuaries, duties, and educational backgrounds.
Actuaries use their knowledge of statistics and other mathematical concepts to identify and measure risk.
Most actuaries work in the insurance industry, estimating the likelihood of property damage, loss, injury, illness, or death for policyholders.
Their analysis helps determine the eligibility of applicants for specific insurance policies and the premium rates they pay.
Actuaries are also generally involved in finance and investments related to corporate activities. Like actuaries, they collect and analyze data to measure risk but apply insights for business purposes.
For example, we can assess the risks associated with credit products or calculate the potential gains or losses on our company’s investments.
Such activities help companies manage risk, thereby improving performance and promoting growth.
Actuaries evaluate economic risk using statistics and mathematics. To reduce risk to firms and other groups, they use their expertise in financial theory and statistics.
These specialists most frequently work for insurance firms, although they can also find employment with governmental organizations or as contract employees.
Professionals must finish a rigorous certification process and a bachelor’s degree to become actuaries.
Many actuaries pass a minimum of seven certification tests over many years.
For those who are committed to becoming actuaries and have strong analytical and business skills, a career in actuarial science can be a great fit.
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What is an Actuary School like?
Actuarial science is concerned with assessing risks and maintaining the economic stability of insurance or financial institutions.
Actuarial graduates learn how to apply the principles of mathematics, statistics, and probability to predict future events and take preventative measures.
The main purpose of studying actuarial science is to prepare students to pass the actuarial exam quickly by equipping them with the necessary knowledge to pursue a career in actuarial science.
To become an actuary, you must pass an actuary exam. These are independent exams and have nothing to do with academic institutions.
The actuarial exam is difficult and requires intensive preparation. Because of this, it takes him 7-10 years for most people to pass it all.
Each exam takes him 3–5 hours and includes multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
The good news is that you can work as an Actuarial Assistant or entry-level Junior Analyst during the exam.
Your efforts will pay off as many companies will financially support and reward their employees who pass the actuarial exam.
Is attending an Actuary School Worth it?
If you have decided to become an actuary and want to speed up the process, a degree in actuarial science can help. However, this is not required.
You can pass the actuarial exam even if you have a finance, mathematics, or statistics degree.
Actuarial Studies is for those who are determined to pursue a career in actuarial science and are unsatisfied with anything else.
It’s a highly specialized position that requires rigorous training and dedication, but the job market is waiting for someone like you if you’re up for the challenge.
What Schooling do you need to be an Actuary?
You need at least a bachelor’s degree to work as an actuary.
Numerous colleges and institutions offer actuarial sciences degrees that combine business, math, and statistics training.
To become an actuary, you do not need to major in actuarial sciences. Still, you should pick courses that will give you a solid background in calculus, statistics, probability, economics, finance, management, and computer science.
It’s a wonderful idea to look for internship opportunities while you’re still in college to use this broad knowledge base in an actuarial role.
After graduation, your internship may result in a job offer, but at the very least, you will network with other professionals in the industry.
How long does it take to become a licensed Actuary?
It often takes seven to ten years to become a fully qualified actuary.
The specific length depends on several factors, allowing you to enter the field in less time, so the length may be shorter or longer for some people.
Many actuaries start their careers with a bachelor’s degree, which takes three to five years to complete.
If you pursue a master’s degree, you can expect two more academic years.
Then work to pass the mathematics exam. There are 7 or 10 exams, depending on the certification you are trying to get.
The exams can be demanding and require a long study period, and some are only offered once or twice a year, so it can take 7-8 years to complete them all.
You can take the exam while you are still a student, so it may overlap with your college days.
Many employers require only a few exams to be completed for entry-level positions, allowing them to work as a professional actuaries while completing the remaining exams.
A degree in Mathematical Sciences is not required to become an actuary but is a qualification.
Before you can work as an actuary, you must begin your Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or Society of Actuaries (SOA) certification.
The first certification you should seek is the Associate certification, which you can obtain by following these steps:
The committee will review your coursework, grades, and/or exam results to determine whether you have received adequate training on key subjects in those areas. Complete an online course on the foundations of professionalism and actuarial practice.
All actuarial firms offer these courses. Pass multiple math exams. If you seek certification through CAS, you must pass seven exams.
SOA requires five checks. Each exam requires hundreds of hours of study and preparation.
After earning associate certification and a few years of work experience, you can earn fellowship certification through CAS.
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How much does it cost to become a licensed Actuary?
A bachelor’s degree meets the qualifications for entry into the mathematics profession.
Students can study mathematical sciences or related majors such as business administration, economics, statistics, or finance.
Aspiring Actuaries can prepare for career entry already during their basic studies. Focus on soft skills in addition to technical skills. Consider an internship to earn a hands-on certification.
Future actuaries can begin the certification process already while studying. Many students have passed one or two of her certification exams before graduating.
According to 2019-2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average net price for undergraduate programs ranges from $14,000 to $28,000 per year.
A master’s degree in actuarial science can increase earning potential for actuaries starting their careers.
This step helps actuaries complete the associate-level certification process, which typically takes four to seven years.
A master’s degree in finance, mathematics, or statistics is also useful for actuaries.
Actuaries may also consider alternatives to graduate school. Advance professional development or certification to the next level.
Consider the return on investment before applying to a graduate program. In 2020-2021, graduate students spent nearly $20,000 a year on tuition and fees, according to NCES data.
Actuaries can talk with mentors and career advisors about whether a graduate school makes sense for their career goals.
Salary and Job Outlook for an Actuary after study
The average salary for an actuary is $113,903 per year. Experience can significantly impact a particular earning power, with entry-level salaries as high as $86,138 and advanced-level salaries as high as $195,226.
Location can also play a role. For example, actuaries in California report salaries that are 11% higher than average, while actuaries in Alabama report salaries that are 41% lower.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that actuarial employment will grow 24% between 2020 and 2030, a much faster pace than average.
BLS attributes the high growth rate to increased demand for insurance services.
Firms may hire actuaries to manage their corporate and financial risks, and insurers may need more actuaries to analyze ever-growing data.
Especially in health insurance, regulatory changes in the healthcare system may increase the demand for actuaries.
For instance, completing the educational and testing requirements to be hired in an entry-level job often takes three to five years. A fully qualified actuary, however, can take up to 10 years to become one. In five years or less, associate status is the goal of many actuaries.
To become a qualified actuary, you must pass the actuarial exams. These tests are unrelated to academic institutions and are independent. Actuarial examinations are challenging and demand extensive study. Because of this, it takes most people 7–10 years to complete them all.
Actuaries should see a 27% increase in employment in the US between 2010 and 2020. This is a rapidly expanding field compared to the 14% growth rate for all jobs during that period.
Due to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that growth in the health insurance sector will be substantial, with actuarial consulting, in particular, showing a strong increase.
The market for life insurance is predicted to grow more slowly.
There are various ways to advance in an actuarial career. You can rise to management and executive positions in insurance and consulting firms if you gather experience and obtain a fellowship qualification.