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About the Actuarial Profession

Actuary (The Actuarial Profession)

Actuaries are business professionals who apply their knowledge of mathematics, probability, statistics, and risk theory, to real-life financial problems involving future uncertainty. These uncertainties are usually associated with life insurance, property and casualty insurance, annuities, pension or other employee benefit plans, or providing evidence, in courts of law, on the value of lost future earnings.

Nature of the Work

  • Life Insurance Company Actuaries
  • Consulting Actuaries
  • Property and Casualty Actuaries
  • Nontraditional Actuaries

Qualifications Necessary for Entry and Success

To be successful, actuaries must have a definite liking for mathematics. Mathematical ability isn't the sole criterion for success. Actuaries must be able to handle the financial, administrative and human relations problems that occur in business.

Actuaries must be willing and able to assume increasing responsibility. Most importantly, they must be able to communicate effectively with others and to motivate their co-workers, to deal creatively and effectively with new problems.

Advancement will depend to a large extent on their management abilities, their technical development, and even more basically, their ability to read and write clearly.

How to Get Started

A student doesn't need to undertake any special preparation at the secondary school level, except to complete and master all the various mathematical courses available.

If possible, the student should select a university that offers an actuarial science program or actuarial science courses on which the preliminary actuarial examinations are based. Courses in finance, economics, computer science, accounting, business administration, and communication would be beneficial.

More Information

More information on the Actuarial Profession can be obtained by contacting the Society of Actuaries.