Example Career: Actuaries
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.
What Job Titles Actuaries Might Have
- Actuarial Analyst
- Pricing Actuary
- Product Development Actuary
What Actuaries Do
- Ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves and liabilities necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
- Determine or help determine company policy, and explain complex technical matters to company executives, government officials, shareholders, policyholders, or the public.
- Design, review and help administer insurance, annuity and pension plans, determining financial soundness and calculating premiums.
- Analyze statistical information to estimate mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates.
- Provide advice to clients on a contract basis, working as a consultant.
- 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.
- Provide expertise to help financial institutions manage risks and maximize returns associated with investment products or credit offerings.
- Construct probability tables for events such as fires, natural disasters, and unemployment, based on analysis of statistical data and other pertinent information.
- Determine equitable basis for distributing surplus earnings under participating insurance and annuity contracts in mutual companies.
- Testify before public agencies on proposed legislation affecting businesses.
- Determine policy contract provisions for each type of insurance.
- Testify in court as expert witness or to provide legal evidence on matters such as the value of potential lifetime earnings of a person who is disabled or killed in an accident.
What Actuaries Should Be Good At
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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 there is a problem.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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).
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Actuaries Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
What Actuaries Need to Learn
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.