If you are good with numbers and statistics, you can consider a career as an actuary. There is a very high demand for the services of actuaries both in insurance companies and other organizations. To start a career as an actuary, you have to understand the qualifications needed to become an actuary and how much, actuaries make.
Who is an Actuary
An actuary is a professional in the field of finance. An actuary uses statistics, financial theory and mathematics to come up with probabilities in finance. Finance organizations, insurance companies, and similar companies employ the services of actuaries to help calculate financial risks. This helps them ascertain uncertainties and make accurate financial decisions.
How to Become an Actuary
There are some academic and none academic qualifications you need to get to become an actuary. The steps to become an actuary includes the following
a. Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The minimum educational qualification needed to become an actuary is a Bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree can get you an entry level job in the field. You can major in any of the following areas Statistics, Mathematics, Actuary science, Economics, or Science. Most people have this misconception that you much have a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics to start a career as an actuary. There are a good number of people doing well in the field without a mathematics degree. The Bachelor’s degree program takes four years to complete.
b. Step 2: Pick Internship Jobs
One mistake most prospective actuaries makes is that they don’t take up intern jobs while earning their bachelor’ degree. There are many available intern jobs for interns in organizations. Some are paid intern jobs while others are unpaid. It doesn’t matter if the job is paid or unpaid. The most important thing now is to acquire the needed practical experience. It will also help you build a better resume when applying for jobs after college.
Step 3: Go For Certifications
Certification is very important in this career field. You can get an entry-level job with your bachelor’s degree, but you will need certifications to become one of the top 10 players in the field. The Society for Actuaries and the Casual Actuarial Society are the two bodies that offer certification courses for actualities. You can enroll in the associate program of the Society for Actuaries. At the completion of the program and after you pass the certification exams, you get to become an Associate of Society of Actuaries.
Where Can An Actuary Work
An actuary can work in any of the following organizations
- Pension organization
- Insurance company
- Investment firm
- Government organization
- Health care companies
- Management consultancies
- Accounting firms
- Private organizations
Actuary Job Description
The summary of the job description of an actuary is to calculate the financial risk and come is with probable outcomes to help organizations make an informed decision.
The breakdown of the job description of an actuary includes the following
- Gather enough information and data for statistical analysis
- Adequate use of statistic software
- Analyze data
- Present reports to clients or organizations based on analysis
Career Opportunities for an Actuary
There are different career opportunities available in this field. The good news is that all the subfields in this career have an equally high demand.
a. Actuary: We have explained who an actuary is and duties too. Most of the people in the field end up building successful careers as an actuary
b. Risk Analyst: A risk analyst helps companies and individuals analyze the risk potentials in various investment options
c. Insurance Underwriter: An insurance underwriter evaluate the risk of potential clients for insurance companies.
d. Academia: As academia, you can work in the statistics, mathematics or actuary science department in an accredited university or college in the country.
How Much Do Actuaries Make
The salary of an actuary differs based on location, the area of specialization and employer. The average salary of an actual is $101,000. The top ten earns make $147,000 while the ten least earns make $77,000.
There is a demand in the availability of jobs for actuaries. This is as a result of the changes in insurance policies and similar finance policies in other fields. For instance, in the health field, there is the Medicare. In view of that, that is expected to be a 27% increase in the availability of jobs for actuaries by 2026.
How Much Do Actuaries Make Per Hour
Since the annual earnings of all actuaries are not the same, there is bound to be a difference in the hour earnings. The hourly salary of an actuary starts at $37 and can go as high as $70.
The Highest Paying States for Actuaries
As mentioned earlier, one of the factors that affect the salary of an actuary is location. Two actuaries in two locations will likely not earn the same income. The following are some of the highest paying states for actuaries
- San Fransisco paying $146,000
- New York paying $145,000
- Connecticut paying $ 140,000
- Pennsylvania paying $138,000
- California paying $138,000