The salary for an actuary is very high, averaging around $80,000 per year. Actuarial science is a popular career with plenty of employment opportunities. Actuary salaries vary depending on where you are working, the type of work you are doing and the amount of experience you have. Actuaries are hired in a wide range of businesses and government agencies and job prospects are good.

What is an Actuary?

Actuaries manage risk. Actuaries use math and statistics to predict the risks of certain outcomes, develop ways to manage that risk and calculate the impact of the risk. Insurance companies are one of the main employers of actuaries, since their entire business is based on risk assessment. Actuaries are also hired to work in private corporations to manage strategic risk. Actuaries also work as consultants for outside corporations. The government also hires actuaries as do accounting firms, universities, investment firms and rating bureaus. There are many job opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career as an actuary.

How Does One Become an Actuary?

Although some universities now provide a major in actuarial science, actuaries come from many different academic backgrounds. Actuaries have a strong background in math and statistics but may also have taken course work in finance, economics, computer science, communications and the humanities. Actuaries benefit from a well-rounded education.

Students interested in pursuing a career as an actuary may want to pursue an actuarial internship to gain relevant work experience.

To become a working actuary there are a series of six exams that must be passed. These exams are rigorous and require many hours of study to pass. Most people interested in becoming an actuary will take the first two exams and begin working as an actuarial assistant. Actuarial assistants can continue to study for advanced exams while employed and learning on the job.

The higher the qualification level an actuary achieves, the greater the salary they can demand. It can take six to ten years to complete all of the actuarial exams.

How much do Actuaries Make?

Becoming an actuary takes a lot of work, but the payoff can be great. The salary for an actuary can vary anywhere from $50,000 per year to upwards of $150,000 per year. Salaries vary based on geographic location, level of experience and the type of work the actuary is doing. Private corporations and insurance companies generally will pay better than the government or universities. Depending on the type of company the actuary works for there may also be opportunities to increase earning based on company bonuses or stock options. Working as an actuary can sometimes lead to advancement into higher paying management or executive positions.

Actuarial science is an excellent career choice with positive job growth and lucrative salaries. Those who have an interest in statistical modeling and risk management and are willing and able to work hard to achieve their goals, should consider pursuing a career as an actuary. There are many job opportunities in a wide variety of fields from private corporations to academia. Actuarial science is a satisfying and stable career to choose and the salary for an actuary is high.