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Job Outlook:
Much faster than average
Education: Bachelor's degree
High: $199,300.00
Average: $127,580.00
Average: $61.34

What they do:

Analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. May ascertain insurance rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.

On the job, you would:

  • Ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves and liabilities necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
  • Collaborate with programmers, underwriters, accounts, claims experts, and senior management to help companies develop plans for new lines of business or improvements to existing business.
  • Analyze statistical information to estimate mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Actuaries identify patterns and trends in complex sets of data to determine the factors that affect certain types of events.

Communication skills. Actuaries must be able to explain complex technical matters to those without an actuarial background. They also must describe their work and recommendations clearly in written reports and memos.

Computer skills. Actuaries must know programming languages and be able to use and develop spreadsheets, databases, and statistical analysis tools.

Interpersonal skills. Actuaries serve as leaders and members of teams, so they must be able to listen to and collaborate with others.

Math skills. Actuaries quantify risk by using the principles of calculus, statistics, and probability.

Problem-solving skills. Actuaries identify risks and develop ways for businesses to manage those risks.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

97% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
93% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
91% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
84% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
80% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
78% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
74% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
73% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
67% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


83% Conventional  -  Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

67% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
61% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
61% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

91% Mathematical Reasoning  -  The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
78% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
78% Number Facility  -  The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
75% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
75% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
75% Category Flexibility  -  The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
75% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
75% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
75% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72% Information Ordering  -  The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
72% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
69% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
66% Speech Clarity  -  The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Skills | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

71% Mathematics  -  Using mathematics to solve problems.
68% Critical Thinking  -  Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
68% Reading Comprehension  -  Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
66% Systems Evaluation  -  Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
66% Complex Problem Solving  -  Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
66% Judgment and Decision Making  -  Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
66% Systems Analysis  -  Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Job Details

Negotiate contracts with clients or service providers.
Manage financial activities of the organization.
Analyze health-related data.
Manage financial activities of the organization.
Collaborate with others to develop or implement marketing strategies.
Develop organizational goals or objectives.
Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
Manage financial activities of the organization.
Manage financial activities of the organization.
Manage financial activities of the organization.
Manage financial activities of the organization.
Provide customer service to clients or users.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

100% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
100% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
98% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
90% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
87% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
86% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
80% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
74% Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results  -  What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
72% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
72% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
71% Letters and Memos  -  How often does the job require written letters and memos?
70% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
66% Level of Competition  -  To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
78% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

95% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
93% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
92% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
89% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
87% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
85% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
85% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
80% Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards  -  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
76% Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others  -  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
73% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
65% Providing Consultation and Advice to Others  -  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

What Actuaries Do

Actuaries produce charts, tables, and reports to explain their calculations.

Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of potential events, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries’ work is essential to the insurance industry.


Actuaries typically do the following:

  • Compile and analyze statistical data and other information
  • Estimate the probability and likely economic cost of an event such as death, sickness, an accident, or a natural disaster
  • Design and test insurance policies, investments, and other business strategies to minimize risk and maximize profitability
  • Calculate cash reserves needed, based on existing policies and liabilities, in case of payout or claims
  • Produce charts, tables, and reports that explain calculations and proposals
  • Explain their findings and proposals to company executives, government officials, shareholders, and clients

Actuaries use database software to compile information. They use statistical and modeling software to forecast the probability of an event occurring, the potential costs of the event if it does occur, and whether the insurance company has enough money to pay future claims.

Actuaries typically work on teams that often include managers and workers from other fields, such as accounting, underwriting, and finance. For example, some actuaries work with accountants and financial analysts to set the price for security offerings or with data scientists to forecast demand for new products.

Most actuaries work for insurance companies, where they help design policies and determine the premiums that should be charged for each policy. They must ensure that the premiums are profitable yet competitive with other insurance companies.

Some actuaries work as consultants and provide advice to clients on a contract basis. Many consulting actuaries audit the work of internal actuaries at insurance companies or handle actuarial duties for insurance companies that are not large enough to keep their own actuaries on staff.

Actuaries in the insurance industry typically specialize in one field of insurance, such as the following:

Health insurance actuaries help develop long-term care and health insurance policies by predicting expected costs of providing care under the terms of an insurance contract. Their predictions are based on numerous factors, including family history, geographic location, and occupation.

Life insurance actuaries help develop annuity and life insurance policies for individuals and groups by creating estimates of how long someone will live. These estimates are based on risk factors, such as age and tobacco use.

Property and casualty insurance actuaries help develop policies that insure policyholders against property loss and liability resulting from accidents, natural disasters, fires, and other events. For example, they calculate the expected number of claims resulting from automobile accidents, which varies with the insured person’s age, driving history, type of car, and other factors.

Some actuaries apply their expertise to financial matters outside of the insurance industry. For example, they develop investment strategies that manage risks and maximize returns for companies or individuals. Actuaries outside of the insurance industry include the following:

Enterprise risk management actuaries identify risks, including economic, financial, and geopolitical risks that may affect a company’s short-term or long-term objectives. They help top executives determine how much risk the business is willing to take, and they develop strategies to mitigate the financial impact of those risks.

Pension and retirement benefits actuaries design, test, and evaluate company pension plans to determine if funds available in the future will be enough to ensure payment of benefits. They must report the results of their evaluations to the federal government. Pension actuaries also help businesses develop other types of retirement benefits, such as 401(k)s and healthcare plans for retirees. In addition, they provide retirement planning advice to individuals.

Public sector actuaries have different duties, based on the level of government in which they work. In the federal government, actuaries may evaluate proposed changes to Social Security or Medicare or conduct economic and demographic studies to project benefit obligations. At the state level, actuaries may examine and regulate the rates charged by insurance companies.

Work Environment

Actuaries held about 30,000 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of actuaries were as follows:

Finance and insurance 80%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 12
Management of companies and enterprises 4
Government 3

Actuaries typically work on teams that often include managers and professionals in other fields, such as accounting, underwriting, and finance.

Although actuaries usually work in an office setting, those who work for consulting firms may need to travel to meet with clients.

Work Schedules

Most actuaries work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.

Getting Started

Bachelor's Degree
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.

How to Become an Actuary

Actuaries need a bachelor’s degree and must pass a series of exams to become certified professionals.

To enter the occupation, actuaries typically need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, actuarial science, statistics, or some other analytical field. Students must complete coursework in subjects such as economics, applied statistics, and corporate finance and must pass a series of exams to become certified.


Actuaries need a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and business. Typically, actuaries have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, business, actuarial science, or some other analytical field.

To become certified, students must complete coursework in subjects such as economics, statistics, and corporate finance. Coursework in computer science, especially programming languages, and the ability to use and develop spreadsheets, databases, and statistical analysis tools also is important.

Because the different types of practice areas include health, life, pension, and casualty, internships may be helpful for students deciding on which actuarial track to pursue.

Licenses, Certification, and Registrations

Two professional organizations—the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA)—offer two levels of certification: associate and fellow.

The CAS certifies actuaries who work in the property and casualty field, which includes automobile, homeowners, commercial, and workers’ compensation insurance.

The SOA certifies actuaries who work in life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits, investments, and finance.

Both credentials require candidates to complete coursework in economics, finance, and mathematical statistics while in college. Candidates also must pass a series of exams and take seminars on professionalism.

Many employers expect prospective hires to have passed at least one or two of these certification exams before graduation.

It may take up to 7 years for an actuary to earn the associate-level certification because of the lengthy preparation required. After becoming associates, actuaries typically take several more years to earn fellowship status. Both the CAS and the SOA have a continuing education requirement.

The SOA offers fellowship certification in five separate tracks: life and annuities, group and health benefits, retirement benefits, quantitative finance and investments, and corporate finance/enterprise risk management. Unlike the SOA, the CAS does not offer specialized study tracks for fellowship certification.

Pension actuaries typically must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Licensed pension actuaries, known as enrolled actuaries, must meet certain experience requirements and pass exams administered through the SOA.


Entry-level actuaries typically start out as trainees. They are usually on teams with experienced actuaries who serve as mentors. Trainees begin work on basic tasks, such as compiling data, and take on more complex duties, such as conducting research and writing reports, as they gain experience. Trainees also may work in other departments, such as marketing, underwriting, and product development, to learn how actuaries fit into all aspects of a company.

Most employers support their actuaries throughout the certification process. For example, employers may pay the cost of exams and study materials or provide paid time to study. Employees may receive raises or bonuses for each exam that they pass.


Advancement usually depends on job performance and the number of actuarial exams passed. For example, actuaries who achieve fellowship status often supervise the work of other actuaries and provide input to senior management. Actuaries with a broad knowledge of risk management and how it applies to business may advance to become top executives, such as chief risk officers or chief financial officers.

Job Outlook

Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 23 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 2,300 openings for actuaries are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks.

More actuaries also will be needed to help companies manage their own risk, a practice known as enterprise risk management. These actuaries help companies adjust their business or investment strategies across all areas of operation.

Insurance companies will need actuaries to analyze the large amount of information, such as medical or property data, collected from consumers. These data will allow insurance companies to develop new products, set competitive prices, predict consumer behavior, and improve projections of future risks and costs.

In addition, health insurance companies will require actuaries to help evaluate the effects of changing healthcare regulations and guidelines, expand into new insurance markets, and offer products to new customers.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about actuaries, visit

American Academy of Actuaries

For more information about actuaries in property and casualty insurance, visit

Casualty Actuarial Society

For more information about actuaries in life and health insurance, retirement benefits, investments, and finance/enterprise risk management, visit

Society of Actuaries

For more information about how to become an actuary, visit

Be an Actuary

For more information about pension actuaries and their licensing requirements, visit

American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries

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Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.