Becoming an actuary
What's an actuary?
Actuaries put a price tag on risk. They are the leading professionals in finding ways to manage risk, and are experts in:
- evaluating the likelihood of future events.
- reducing the impact of undesirable events.
- designing creative ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events.
Actuaries apply their mathematical expertise, statistical knowledge, economic and financial analyses, and problem-solving skills to a wide range of business problems. They help companies evaluate the long-term financial implications of their decisions; they develop new ways to manage risk, and they estimate the costs of uncertain future events ranging from tornadoes and hurricanes to changes in life expectancy.
Actuaries work in all sectors of the economy, though they are more heavily represented in the financial services sector. Their work is the analytical backbone of the nation's financial security programs, including insurance, Social Security, and Medicare.
Some actuaries have degrees in actuarial science, while others have degrees in business, economics, math, or the liberal arts. To join the profession in the United States, prospective actuaries must pass a series of exams given by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), or the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). The exam process usually takes several years.
To learn more about what actuaries do, please visit www.beanactuary.org.