What is an Actuary?

An actuary is a business professional who uses mathematical skills to predict and manage risk and uncertainty.  Actuaries are employed by insurance companies, financial institutions, consulting firms, government agencies, and many other organizations who need to quantify their risk.  For example, an actuary at an insurance company decides how much an insured should pay for auto insurance premiums based on factors such as driving records, location, age, and vehicle type. 

How to Become an Actuary

Actuaries working in the United States must obtain at least a bachelor's degree along with professional credentials from one of the two North American actuarial societies:

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) offers credentials for actuaries working in a variety of fields, including life, health, retirement, and finance.  Through research and education, the SOA's mission is to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal challenges.

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) - Founded in 1914, the CAS is the world’s only actuarial organization focused exclusively on property and casualty risks and serves over 8,000 members worldwide.  CAS members are experts in property and casualty insurance, reinsurance, finance, risk management, and enterprise risk management.

The credentialing process through each society includes a series of challenging exams that will take many years to complete.  The general rule of thumb is to plan on studying 100 hours for every hour of exam (Ex: study 300 hours for a 3-hour exam).  Due to the time consuming nature of the exams, not everyone who starts taking exams will complete the process.  The Actuarial Science Program at UT covers syllabus content for the preliminary exams required by each society.

Useful Links for Potential Actuaries

CAS Student Central - Providing free resources to guide actuarial students through college study, actuarial exams, internships, and networking opportunities to a rewarding career.

Be An Actuary - A great starting place for students who would like to learn more about how to become an actuary and what actuaries do.

Intro to Actuarial Science - edX - You will learn how actuarial science applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in these industries and other professions.

Salary Surveys

https://www.dwsimpson.com/salary - D.W. Simpson Global Actuarial & Analytics Recruitment Actuarial Salary Survey

http://www.ezrapenland.com/salary  - Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment Salary Survey