Are you a math wizard who has always had a love of numbers? Do you work in the insurance industry and keep up-to-date with premium rate increases? Or, perhaps you’re one of the most analytical minds in the room? If any of that makes your heart jump, it may be a sign that a career as an actuary is calling your name! So, what is an actuary you ask? An actuary manages risk and projects the likelihood that future events can or will occur. The industries actuaries serve range from insurance, transportation, energy, the environment, and beyond. It’s also a better time than ever to consider a career as an actuary. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, between 2016 and 2026, the job outlook for actuaries is expected to rise by 22%. But how do you get there and what does it take? The following will give you an in-depth overview:

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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After reading this post, you may be thinking that a career as an actuary is really meant for you! So put your right foot in front of your left and make the steps toward this career achievement!

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