what is an actuary?

You will be required to be a strategic thinker and a problem solver in your position as an actuary. Your mathematical skills will be put to the test as you evaluate future events based on their probability and risk. As an actuary, you will use your skills to foresee the financial impact of risk events on your business and your clients.

Governments and businesses rely on actuaries to help them plan for future growth and unforeseen occurrences. Your skill set will allow your employer to face the rapidly changing world scene in a way that evaluates and mitigates risk. When you are hired as an actuary, you will be pivotal in helping your business navigate an evolving landscape.

use creativity to predict future uncertainty

You will be called on to use your creativity, adaptability and curiosity to guard against the potential negative effects of future uncertainty. Actuaries are involved in every aspect of a business, from planning to calculating pension plans to insurance premiums. You will be entrusted with managing financial assets and evaluating liabilities. Whether it is cybersecurity, data science or climate change, your input will be invaluable.

Would working as an actuary suit your skill or interest? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an actuary role.

actuary jobs near you

average actuary salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for actuaries is $105,900. This means that 50% of actuaries earned more than this amount, and 50% earned less. Actuaries in the bottom tenth of earners made under $63,260. The highest 10% of actuaries made $206,820 or more each year.

Most actuaries work 40 hours plus each week. If you work in a governmental field, you should expect a median salary of $110,590. In the insurance field, your median salary expectations are around $110,000. As an employee in the tech services, scientific or professional fields, your median salary is $101,600. You will earn $101,510 as a median salary if you work in the management of companies and enterprise fields.

Payscale notes that an actuary's annual salary can increase by up to $85,000 as they gain experience over a 20-year career. Your location will influence your salary. The top places for working as an actuary are Connecticut, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia. The amount of education you have can affect your pay. Having a master's degree in actuarial science will typically help you earn more than just having a bachelor's degree.

Wondering what you can earn as an actuary? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of an actuary is.

smiling woman
smiling woman

types of actuaries

life insurance actuary

As a life insurance actuary, you are responsible for creating policies that cover groups and individuals. You will evaluate demographic data, life expectancy tables, risk behaviors and health.


working as an actuary

As an actuary, you may work for financial institutions, insurance companies, and consulting firms. Your daily tasks will vary based on your specialty.


actuary skills and education

If you want to become an actuary, it is important to have at least a bachelor's degree. Some professionals also have a master's or doctorate. The most direct path is to major in a study that includes statistics, mathematics and industry-related topics. Other majors can also produce well-qualified actuaries, like:

  • economics
  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • computer science
  • physics
two females working and smiling on their laptops in an office
two females working and smiling on their laptops in an office

FAQs about working as an actuary

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about actuaries.

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