Why Would You Want an Actuarial Career?

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There are the more obvious reasons why you would want an actuarial career and then there are the in-depth reasons that will keep you happy and in the job. Here are the four more simple positives to an actuarial career from beanactuary.org:


Top Ranked Career

In the 2019 U.S. News and World Report 100 Best Jobs in America, An actuarial career comes out #33. 23 of the first 33 are jobs in health care like surgeon, dentist and physician. Actuaries are #6 in Best Business jobs, #14 in Best STEM jobs and #23 in Best Paying jobs. U.S. News measured on median salary, unemployment rate, 10 year growth, future job prospects, stress Level and work life balance. Actuaries have median salaries of $101,560, their unemployment rate is at an incredible 1.4% and both 10 year growth and future job prospects are very high.

Job Security

Actuaries are in high demand because there aren’t enough of them and the work they perform is critical in the organizations they work in. When the economy is bad or natural disasters are occurring, actuaries don’t lose their job because they are responsible for assessing the risk that those very events cause. With the amount of real data ever expanding the need for quantitative risk assessment is only going to increase.

Work/Life Balance

With actuaries so actively sought after by so many companies, those same companies do everything possible to make their work environment desirable. The majority of actuaries have a regular 9 to 5 schedule with excellent balance to their personal life and their work.

Great Salaries

BS entry students with two to three tests passed can start in actuarial positions at $65-$70,000 base salary. If they continue to pursue their ASA within 3-5 years and their FSA in 5-7, they can double their income at the five year mark. In addition to salary increases, most companies offer cash bonuses and promotions for each professional designation achieved. And, they often pay for the test taking and give paid time off to prepare.

These are all great benefits for an actuarial career, but the work itself is what gives in-depth value and worth. Propertycasualty360.com offers these insights:


The ability to price risk contingencies is an essential part of our economy. Without an active insurance market and a strong quantitative foundation for measuring the potential impact of risks, developments we take for granted don’t happen. Bridges and skyscrapers aren’t built, people don’t live in certain areas and new products aren’t invented and utilized.


Modeling and evaluating potential catastrophic events requires STEM knowledge. Psychology and sociology are needed to model human behavior in a risky environment. Finance and economics are needed to estimate the financial impact of risk. Modeling terrorism requires an understanding of socioeconomic and global politics. There is always something new and interesting to learn.


Risk is not always intuitive. Actuaries are problem solvers drawing on multiple skill sets. They are often dealing with millions of dollars of products, reserves and policies and the actuary’s calculations and analysis will have widespread financial impact on many lives. Actuaries influence key business decisions and their opinions and expertise is greatly valued. Actuarial careers make an impressive impact on real world problems.

Have we whet your appetite for an actuarial career? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Actuarial Recruiter, Rory Hauser at rhauser@smithhanley.com to explore opportunities.

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