Actuaries in the insurance industry typically specialize in a specific field of insurance, such as health insurance actuaries. life insurance actuaries, property and casualty insurance actuaries and pension and retirement benefits actuaries.
How to Become an Actuary
An undergraduate degree in business, mathematics or statistics is required to pursue a career as an actuary. Aspiring actuaries should also have a strong background in statistics, business and mathematics. The curriculum in the undergraduate may include topics such as management, corporate finance, accounting and economics. Students may also take courses in computer science that would help them learn develop databases, spreadsheets and statistical analysis tools. In addition, having courses in writing and public speaking may also help since communication skills are essential to succeed in the business world. Students may have to complete internships as a part of some programs as well. Actuaries also need to get certification. The Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries offer certifications. Most actuaries are certified by the Society of Actuaries (SOA).The CAS and SOA offer 2 levels of certification: associate and fellowship. The CAS certifies actuaries who work in the casualty and property field such as workers’ compensation insurance and automobile
while the SOA certifies the ones in life insurance, finance and health insurance. Actuaries generally start their careers as trainees and work in product development or marketing departments where they get a chance to learn how companies operate. They also find out the role of actuaries during their training period.
Skills for Actuaries
Actuaries should have good communication and interpersonal skills. Analytical and problem-solving skills are also critical for these professionals. These professionals have expertise in math and computer as well.
Actuaries can find job opportunities in consulting services, insurance firms, companies, and other office settings. Opportunities are also available with insurance carriers and related activities, funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles as well as professional, scientific, and technical services. The ones who have passed at least 2 actuarial exams and have had an internship experience should have the best job prospects for entry-level positions, the BLS notes. Most actuaries work full time. Workers in consulting firms are generally required to work longer hours than the ones in other settings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for actuaries in 2012 was $93,680. The income depends on location, experience and qualification among other factors.