How Do I Become an Actuarial Analyst?

Research what it takes to become an actuarial analyst. Learn about job duties, education and licensing requirements and typical salaries to find out whether this is the career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an Actuarial Analyst?

Actuarial analysts project raw data into possible real-life outcomes, helping businesses tailor affordable insurance policies. They collect statistical data and design graphs to test business strategies and estimate the impact of financial risks, such as illness or death. They suggest methods for decreasing risk and increasing revenue. They frequently work alongside accounting professionals. Find out job duties, education requirements and salary expectations in the table below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Actuarial science
Math
Economics
Statistics
Finance
Licensing/Certification Exams required for professional certification are administered by the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society
Key Responsibilities Compile and analyze data; estimate likelihood and cost of an event such as illness or a natural disaster; recommend ways for companies to avoid such a risk
Job Growth (2014-2024) 18%*
Median Salary (2015) $97,070*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Requirements for Becoming an Actuarial Analyst?

The most common terminal degree for actuarial analysts is a bachelor's in actuarial science. Undergraduate majors in mathematics, economics, statistics, finance or business will often suffice as well. You should try to gain as much knowledge in these fields as possible, while also applying for internships as an undergraduate student.

Upon attaining your degree, you will likely find a position performing basic actuarial work in the lower ranks of a company as you begin to take the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and/or Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) exams. SOA and CAS both endorse the first four of the seven total exams in this process, allowing you to choose your specialization after determining your own aptitudes in the field. Most actuarial analysts work as they continue the exam process - which lasts about four years - until they become either an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) or an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS). Passing these exams will merit you a fully-fledged professional in your actuarial analyst specialization.

How Could I Advance?

SOA and CAS have additional statuses for professionals seeking distinction and advancement. CAS offers a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) award signatory for members who meet additional testing requirements and show adeptness in enterprise risk management. SOA offers a CERA credential as well, and its Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) accolade is awarded to SOA members who can pass all of its tests and specialize in an actuarial specialty track. It's not uncommon for actuarial analysts who show superb business results, intuition and dedication, often combined with a master's degree in business, to advance to Chief Risk Officer or Chief Financial Officer at their company.

What Does an Actuarial Analyst Do Every Day?

As an actuarial analyst, you will be working with database, spreadsheet, word processing and financial analysis software to ascertain and determine future risks, premium rates, benefits, probability tables and company policies, most likely from a desk or cubicle. You will continually analyze, interpret and survey sickness, mortality, disabling, retirement and accident figures and relay them promptly and professionally to your superiors and colleagues. You will work with clients, programmers, claims experts, other analysts and even public inquiry committees as to your business and work. These tasks will daily sharpen and exercise your abilities to reason mathematically, scientifically and creatively; implement advancing knowledge and technology in your field; and make weighty, fast-paced decisions.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include insurance underwriters, accountants and auditors, and personal financial advisors. Insurance underwriters design coverage quantities and premium costs. Accountants and auditors oversee and manage financial record-keeping. Personal financial advisors provide recommendations for monetary organization and investment. Each of these roles necessitates a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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