How Do I Get There?
Like most fields of study, to become reputable in your field, you will need an education. To become an actuary, you need at least a bachelor’s degree of some sort preferably in the subjects of finance, economics, or mathematics. Some colleges even offer Actuarial Science degrees. Although you don’t necessarily need to major in mathematics or Actuarial Science, a key to your success as an actuary will be applying your math skills to a business perspective. Also, seek out internships. Adding an internship experience to your resume can only boost your value as a job candidate.
Ok, So What About After I Acquire the Degree?
The degree itself is not enough. There are tons of people out there with degrees listed in this post. To set yourself apart, you will need to acquire certifications and pass exams. These provide you with certifications to work as an actuary. The first certification you will need is a Validation of Educational Experience (VEE). A committee will review work and exams scores from college to ensure you have the educational foundation to become an actuarial associate. However, this is only the beginning. To be considered by most employers as a professional, you will need to study, take, and pass exams offered by either The Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. The timetable to pass all of these exams can take several years but, as an incentive, some employers will pay for the exams and even offer raises for each exam passed.
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Sounds Like a Lot of Time and Work. Why Am I Still Considering This?
“Why,” you ask? In 2017, an actuary was rated as one of the best jobs in America in regards to personal satisfaction, low stress, and pay. How much pay? Experienced fellows can earn anywhere from $150,000-$250,000 and for some, beyond that. Different industries offer different salaries, so do your research for which industry is a good fit for you. Put in the hard work now and soon you’ll be in a low-stress work environment earning an above-average salary!
What’s a Day on the Job Look Like?
A typical day on the job will vary from one actuary to another. Some actuaries meet with clients as consultants, some travel, while others work a desk job. No matter which path you choose as an actuary, this is typically a 40-hour work week (unless you choose to do consulting) and offers a good balance between home and work life. To get an in-depth perspective for yourself, consider reaching out to an actuary on LinkedIn and ask to follow him or her for a day. This will give you firsthand experience prior to making a commitment to pursue this career.
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