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What You Need to Know About Actuary

Actuary Job Description 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.

What Do Actuaries Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves and liabilities necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
  • Provide advice to clients on a contract basis, working as a consultant.
  • Manage credit and help price corporate security offerings.
  • Analyze statistical information to estimate mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates.
  • Determine equitable basis for distributing surplus earnings under participating insurance and annuity contracts in mutual companies.
  • Explain changes in contract provisions to customers.

Actuary Skills

Actuaries state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Types of Actuary Jobs

  • Actuarial Mathematician
  • Health Actuary
  • Actuarial Analyst
  • Retirement Actuary
  • Actuary

Actuary Job Outlook

There were about 23,600 jobs for Actuary in 2016 (in the United States). 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,100 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Actuaries in U.S.

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

The salary for Actuaries ranges between about $61,140 and $186,110 a year.

Salary Ranges for Actuaries

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Actuaries

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Actuaries:

  • 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?

Are there Actuaries education requirements?

Actuary Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Actuary?

Actuary Work Experience

Actuaries Sector

Actuary Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Actuary Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being an Actuary may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as an Actuary sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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