alternative actuarial careers


Those who decide to pursue actuarial careers reach that decision somewhere around their sophomore or junior year of college. They major in math or statistics and quickly realize that actuarial science is a great career path with plentiful job opportunities. They begin their job search by looking at large insurance companies and consulting firms. Firms like AIG, Prudential and Willis Towers Watson employ the vast majority of actuaries and can be a great career choice for many….but…there are alternative actuarial career options.

You may not know this but actuaries have integrated many industries in ways that you never thought possible. From tech to travel to wall street there are companies in these industries relying on the actuarial profession and the expertise they provide. If the traditional path isn’t something you see yourself taking, here is a quick look at some organizations you might want to consider for alternative actuarial careers.

Health Care Startups

People agree that the healthcare fee-for-service system in the United States is broken. Who is going to revolutionize healthcare by implementing/recommending a new value-based system?  Healthcare startups are hot career choices for actuaries in 2021.  Firms like Health IQ and Oscar Care could follow in the footsteps of Remedy Health which was recently bought by Signify Health and went public on Nasdaq in February of 2021.

Goldman Sachs / Morgan Stanley

These two Wall Street giants employ up to 15 credentialed actuaries. They serve as portfolio managers, research professionals or specialize in risk mitigation. An FSA who spent much of his early career as a health care actuary turned that expertise into an equity research role. He said, “My understanding of how insurance companies and healthcare organizations turn a profit is invaluable when assessing their stock price.”


Google’s actuaries lead the Business Risk and Insurance department. Their mission, as stated on LinkedIn, is, “To create innovative, straightforward and sustainable risk solutions that protect Google and enable our partners to launch with velocity.”

Facebook / Starbucks

Both of these companies have large and highly valuable workforces. They believe it is imperative to have the best benefits possible for them. Retirement plans like pensions and equity sharing are overseen by high level actuarial professionals (FSA & EA). They also employ actuaries to manage their medical benefits.


You just booked a flight, but aren’t sure you can make it. Why not book travel insurance just in case? Who else but an actuary would be calculating that cost?

From coast to coast alternative actuarial careers exist in industries you never imagined. Interested in talking about where your actuarial skills and accreditations can take you? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Actuarial Practice Lead, Rory Hauser, at

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