How to Become an Actuary
By Eric Hammer
If you want a really well paid profession then you should
definitely look into how to become an actuary. An actuary is
a professional risk assessor, someone who figures out whether
or not something is too risky and how much of chance there is
of something happening.
The most common type of actuary works for insurance companies
and helps them to decide exactly how much they need to charge
you for your insurance. The idea is for the company to be able
to figure out just how likely you are to file a claim and to
charge an amount that will be appropriate for that. Actuaries
are the people who actually figure out the numbers behind your
There are also actuaries who work for brokerage houses because
they help people to predict how much money they'll need for retirement
and how much they'll need to save each month to get to the point
of having the money to pay for retiring in reasonable comfort.
How Much Can You Make?
Actuaries are fairly well paid. According the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, the average salary for an actuary was over $95,000
in 2008 and that number is only expected to grow as the demand
for actuaries increases, especially in light of recent changes
to the health insurance market which is expected to see an explosion
in the number of people applying for policies.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
You'll need to be very good at math and a very detail oriented
person in order to do this job well. Actuaries need to be able
to follow complex mathematical formulas which take into account
the risks involved in almost any person's life and to then boil
that down to a simple number which the people at the insurance
company can use to decide what to charge.
Becoming an actuary is also not easy to do because the test
that you'll need to take in order to earn your license is an
extremely difficult one which many people fail. However, if you
are able to pass, you should find work reasonably easy to come
by in this field.
Qualifications / Requirements
You will generally need at least a bachelor's degree in a
math or a finance related subject such as math, economics or
accounting in order to become an actuary. You'll also need excellent
analytical skills and you'll need to pass a test before you can
be licensed as an actuary.
Start by going to school and earning your degree in a math
or economics related subject. Find out if your school has any
courses or a major in actuarial sciences. Most schools offer
at least some such courses however there are few that offer an
actual major in the subject. Once you have your degree, you should
sit for the actuarial exam as soon as possible since you'll need
to pass before you can work as an actuary.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how
to become an actuary.
Be an Actuary
- A web site devoted to learning how to become an actuary.
Society of Actuaries
- A trade group for those interested in this line of work.