Actuaries work with insurance company representatives to determine premiums or policyholder fees. They tell insurance companies how much to charge a policyholder for any type of coverage. Actuaries may work for private insurance companies, life insurance companies, property-liability companies, and state or federal government agencies. They may also work for consulting firms.
Students aspiring to be actuaries need to have at least a bachelor’s degree with a proficiency in mathematics and statistics. It would be best if one has finished a program in actuarial science but courses in accounting and other related fields are also advantageous. To become a fully qualified actuary, one must pass a series of examinations over a period of five to ten years. The first few examinations often test mathematical skills. Meanwhile some of the tests are about the various branches of the vocation.
Aspiring actuaries can apply directly to companies and agencies as these often offer many entry-level actuary jobs. A lot of open actuary positions can also be found in Internet job banks and classified ads in the newspapers. Those who would like to apply in a government institution must first take the civil service examination.
Actuaries often work forty hours in offices. However, actuaries working as consultants have to travel to clients’ offices while others are constantly required to travel to meetings in various places. Fully qualified actuaries often have a greater deal of responsibility.
In 2004, the average annual salary for actuaries was $76,340 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those in top positions such as actuarial executives receive more than $107,650 per year.