Actuaries Career Video
Description: 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.
Actuaries analyze the costs of risk and uncertainty. They use statistics to estimate how likely it is that an event —such as an illness or accident—will occur, and help their clients set insurance rates and payouts so they can manage the cost if it does. Depending on the type of insurance or benefit they work with, actuaries may examine factors that affect an individual’s health, estimate the length of a person’s life, calculate the likelihood of car accidents, or ensure a retirement plan will have enough funds for all the employees it covers. Actuaries typically work alongside professionals 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 market research analysts to forecast demand for new products. Actuaries also work in the public sector. In the federal government, actuaries may evaluate proposed changes to Social Security or Medicare or conduct economic and demographic studies to project future costs. At the state level, actuaries may examine and regulate the rates charged by insurance companies. Most actuaries work full time, and overtime is common. Actuaries need a bachelor’s degree, typically in mathematics, actuarial science, or another analytical field. Students must complete coursework in economics, applied statistics, and corporate finance, and must pass a series of exams to become certified professionals.