The actuary job description generally involves a lot of statistical analysis and risk calculation. We are going to look at the job description overview, at the actuary job description and salary, and also at the responsibilities and duties seen by people in the profession.
We are also going to take a look at what qualities and skills are required by the occupation. We’ll also talk about the qualifications needed to be considered for the actuary job description. Other topics we’re going to approach are the needed work experience, the career prospects, and any training they might see on the job.
Actuary Job Description Overview
First off, we have to start by saying that there are two large categories in which actuarial work can fall. These are Life, and non-Life. Life actuaries generally deal with mortality, morbidity, and investment risks. Meanwhile, non-Life actuaries mostly deal with properties and liability insurance.
Of course, the two professions will have different responsibilities and salaries. However, they still have to do the same type of work. Most people with the actuary role and responsibilities work as a sort of insurance analysts. They have to determine which insurance policies would be too big of a risk for the company.
This involves a lot of statistical work, as well as sifting through huge amounts of information. They also have to collect statistically significant data, build data models, and analyze the effects on insurance policies. For this, they have to examine incident data and adjust the rates and terms as needed.
People hoping to get the actuary job description and salary usually have a college degree in actuarial science. It’s also frequent for them to get a degree in a field related to statistical analysis. Most actuaries tend to work for insurance companies. Some businesses that deal with financial services often have actuary departments, so those are also an option.
Most often, actuaries work in office environments. They tend to have regular work hours, and overtimes are rarely needed. According to payscale.com, the average salary for someone with the actuary job description is around the $80,000 mark. In reality, the actuary salary can be anywhere between $50,000 and $150,000 a year.
Actuary Job Description Responsibilities
The actuary job description involves a plenty of responsibilities. Despite this fact, the occupation was reported to be one of the least stressful out there. While there will most likely be some variation depending on each workplace, all actuaries perform the same type of tasks. They also have some of the same responsibilities.
Below, you can find the most typical duties and responsibilities met on the job by actual actuaries. Some actuary job descriptions may include a number of extra tasks, while other could very well require fewer.
- Analyzing statistical information;
- Estimating accident sickness, retirement, disability, and mortality rates;
- Determining the premium rates, liabilities, and required cash reserves;
- Ensuring the payment of future benefits;
- Collaborating with accountants, programmers, underwriters, claims experts, and management;
- Helping companies develop new business line plans;
- Improving on already existing businesses;
- Constructing probability tables based on statistical data;
- Compiling data based on natural disasters, fires, unemployment;
- Designing, reviewing, and helping administer insurance;
- Coming up with an equitable basis for the distribution of surplus earnings;
- Helping determine company policies;
- Explaining complex technical matters to government officials, company executives, policyholders, shareholders, and the public;
- Determining the correct policy contract provisions for every type of insurance;
- Explaining the contract provisions box to customers;
- Managing credits;
- Helping price corporate security offerings;
- Providing assistance on a contract basis;
- Working as a consultant;
- Providing expertise related to risk management and maximizing returns on credit offerings and investment products;
- Testifying on proposed business legislations before public agencies;
- Testifying in court as expert witnesses;
- Advising clients or customers on financial matters;
- Analyzing socio-economic data, scientific research, and investigative findings;
- Creating statistical and mathematical diagrams, charts, simulation models, and mathematical ideas and interpretations;
- Creating and maintaining databases;
- Keeping track of social trends.
There is a number of skills and abilities without which someone in the profession couldn’t pull it off. We have compiled a list of the actuary job description requirements most frequently met in the profession.
The qualities and abilities mandatory for someone aspiring for the actuary job description are as follows:
- Having a working knowledge of word processing and desktop publishing software;
- Using spreadsheet software;
- Using relational database software;
- Knowing quantitative research methods;
- Having a very strong knowledge of mathematics and statistics;
- Having excellent communication skills;
- Being able to work as part of a team;
- Having a very strong command of the English language;
- Being able to explain complex information very clearly;
- Having a very sound judgment and a great business sense;
- Taking a logical approach to problem solving;
- Having very strong computer skills;
- Being highly detail-oriented;
- Having a superior level of self-confidence;
- Understanding business and financial markets.
Qualifications and Training
It’s very common for someone with the actuary job description to hold a bachelor’s or a higher degree in mathematics, statistics, or actuary science. They also have to pass a number of very strict exams in order to be considered for the position. Through the means of these exams, people in the profession can reach higher professional levels.
Most insurance actuaries have to be licensed by one of the two professional society sponsor programs active in the U.S. The first one is The Society of Actuaries, or SOA. They certify actuaries going into life and health insurance, as well as retirement, investment, and finance systems. Meanwhile, the Casualty Actuarial Society, or CAS, licenses actuaries in casualty and property insurance.
The average duration for someone reaching the Associate professional designation usually takes between four to eight years. This can be achieved by passing a number of exams and by continually participating in education programs. The highest professional level reachable by an actuary is the Fellowship level. It takes an additional two or three years to complete after the Associate level.
First off, experience makes a huge impact on the salary of anyone with the actuary job description. In fact, according to payscale.com, the actuary salary can grow by more than $75,000 over the course of an actuary career longer than twenty years.
Fortunately for most who want to start a career in the business, the profession allows for entry level jobs. Of course, the entry level actuary job description will be somewhat different than the older, more experienced actuary job description. The level of responsibility of each employee is proportional with their salary.
Actuary Career Prospects
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimated the actuary job description employment rate to go up 18% by 2024. That is much faster than the 8% estimated national average. This growth is owed to several factors.
The increase of older risks and the emergence of newer ones are two of the highest determinant factors. A rise in the number of insurance agencies and companies dealing with financial services also greatly contributed to the prevalence of individuals with the actuary job description.
Despite having one of the most satisfying jobs in finance, actuaries have huge amounts of work to do. However, the stress levels for the profession are some of the lowest in the field. The actuary job description comes with a very satisfactory salary, so that might be one reason for that. Come back anytime for more interesting job descriptions, such as for the copywriter, architect, or nutritionist.
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