Introduction of Actuary
Actuaries dubbed the “cool kids of the insurance world,” attempt to value the future by analysing the financial costs of risk associated with prospective events. They assist businesses and clients in developing policies that reduce the cost of risk.
Similar Job Titles
- Life Actuary
- Casualty Actuary
- Pension Actuary
- Benefits Actuary
- Insurance Actuary
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Actuaries do?
An Actuary would typically need to:
- Analyse statistical data to determine the rates of mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement.
- Create probability tables for fires, natural disasters, and unemployment using current sociological research and knowledge of inquiry procedures.
- Determine premium rates, cash reserves, and obligations to secure future benefit payments.
- Determine the provisions of each form of insurance policy contract and provide presentations, reports, assessments, and quarterly updates.
- Design, review, and assist in the administration of insurance, annuity, and pension schemes
- Develop strategies for new business lines or improve existing ones in collaboration with programmers, underwriters, accounting, claims experts, and senior management.
- Determine a fair basis for allocating surplus revenues under mutual company participating insurance and annuity contracts.
- Manage credit, assist in the pricing of business security solutions, establish company policy, and assist with mergers and acquisitions.
- Help financial institutions manage risks and maximise returns on investment products or loan services by providing knowledge.
- Using reports and quarterly updates, explain complicated technical issues to firm executives, government officials, shareholders, policyholders, and the general public.
- Collaborate with IT specialists to create systems that ensure regulatory body compliance.
- As a consultant, you will supervise employees and provide advice to clients on a contract basis.
- Testify in front of government agencies about proposed legislation affecting businesses.
Standard Work Environment
Although most actuaries work in an office, those who work for consulting firms may be required to travel to meet with customers. Unless otherwise noted, the dress code would be business casual.
The majority of actuaries work full-time. Expect to work overtime, but not necessarily on weekends or in shifts. Graduate trainees in traditional fields of employment can devote more time to studying for professional tests.
Flexible and part-time work, as well as career pauses, are all possible.
The majority of actuarial trainees begin their employment in the financial services sector. Recruitment agencies manage some positions and frequently advertise in financial vacancy sections of newspapers or professional periodicals. Most large towns and cities have plenty of job opportunities. It is uncommon for an Actuary to be self-employed and freelancing.
Actuaries are generally employed by:
- Insurance Carriers
- Funds & Trusts
- Government Organizations
- Educational Institutions
- Insurance Companies & Consultancies
Unions / Professional Organizations
Membership in one of the major actuarial societies and groups can provide enhanced networking possibilities and access to resources that individual Actuaries may not have access to.
- Increasingly complicated work to facilitate better alignment with the company’s finance and risk organizations
- Results and additional insights are expected at an accelerated pace to enable faster action
- Expected to play a more prominent role in business decisions with a more substantial commitment to advanced analytics and big data
- Driven to refocus on higher analytics while also improving efficiency through increased automation, responsiveness and transparency
- Examinations which may impact social and personal life
Work Experience Suggestions
Internships can assist students narrow down the different Actuarial tracks available, including health, life, pension, and casualty. Pre-entry experience, such as talking to people who are already in the position and gaining some work experience, would be invaluable.
Some companies provide students interested in becoming Actuaries with work placements or internships. Wherever possible, aspiring actuaries should approach professionals at career fairs or inquire about work shadowing.
A graduate degree in Actuarial Science, Actuarial Mathematics, business or finance, economics, engineering, mathematics, statistics, risk management, physics, or chemistry increases your chances of success tremendously.
Prospective Actuaries should take computer science coursework in addition to statistics and probability to acquire programming languages and build the skills to utilise and develop spreadsheets, databases, and statistical analysis tools.
Writing and public speaking classes will help you improve your corporate communication skills. A degree, postgraduate diploma, or MSc in Actuarial Science may allow for exemption from basic technical studies and faster qualifying.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
A Certificate in Financial Mathematics is a good starting point for university students and persons working in financial services who want to become Actuaries.
Some professional organisations provide an aspiring Actuary with associate and fellow levels of certification, leading to full professional status. Graduate students must finish coursework in economics, statistics, and corporate finance, pass tests for associate-level certification, and attend obligatory e-learning courses and seminars to become certified Actuaries. Before graduation, many firms expect students to have taken at least one or two of the primary Actuary tests required for professional certification.
Expected Career Path
Advancement is mostly determined by job performance and the number of Actuarial tests passed. Actuaries who have a wide understanding of risk management and how it applies to business can advance to leadership positions such as Chief Risk Officer or Chief Financial Officer.
Once qualified, actuaries can swiftly advance to management positions with more responsibility for project work and team management, as well as mentoring new trainees.
An Actuarial job provides a great deal of freedom; an Actuary may choose a specific field of specialisation, such as consultation, investments, life assurance, general insurance, pensions, or reinsurance, but they can change areas later in their career. Investment systems, technical research, commercial activities, financial modelling, software development, valuation work, and general administration are all options for experienced Actuaries.
Actuaries may opt to advance to positions in product development, marketing, and senior sales, where the complexity of the product and the value of the sale necessitate a consultative sales strategy. It is also feasible to specialise in fields such as genetics, energy supply, or climate change.
Because the number of students taking Actuarial examinations has increased in recent years, job chances for entry-level applicants should be rather competitive. Students with at least two Actuarial examinations under their belts, an internship while in college, and excellent analytical and business abilities should have the best job prospects for entry-level positions.
Beneficial Professional Development of Actuary
The majority of entry-level Actuaries begin their careers as risk analysts or trainees on teams led by more experienced mentor Actuaries. They begin by gathering data and then go on to research and report writing. Fresh hires may be assigned to other departments, such as marketing, underwriting, and product development, to learn about all elements of the company’s operations while also understanding how Actuarial work applies to each.
Most organisations assist their Actuaries throughout the certification process by mentoring, coaching, and covering the costs of learning materials. Many companies offer paid study time and encourage their employees to form study clubs. It is critical to identify your preferred field of work and then apply for available positions.
It takes three to six years to qualify as an associate member of the profession after passing tests, completing various practical modules, and attaining a suitable level of work-based abilities. The associate-level qualification is internationally recognised as completing the basic qualifications for an Actuary, and members may use the letters AIA or AFA.
Actuaries who seek to expand their studies or specialise in a certain Actuarial subject may take additional specialised tests to qualify as a fellow, becoming an expert in areas such as investments, business risk management, pensions, or insurance.
Professional organisations require continual education. The majority of actuaries fulfil this requirement by participating in training seminars sponsored by their companies or the professional organisation to which they belong.
Conclusion of Actuary
In summary, most Actuaries enjoy their profession since it allows them to apply their skills and have a significant positive influence. They assist people get adequate health care, protect themselves in old age, and stimulate economic growth while working in one of the top-ranked, most secure, and prominent positions that pay well and provide a low-stress, highly desired work/life balance.
Advice from the Wise
Work protects us from three evils: boredom, vice, and desperation.
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