About the job:

What you do

As an Actuary, your job is to perform complex calculations to determine the likelihood of various outcomes related to accidents, illnesses, consumer demand, and investments. You will basically analyze uncertain events to put a dollar value on them. The majority of actuaries work for companies dealing with life, health, property, and casualty insurance. 

The tough stuff

As an Actuary, you will probably have to:

  • Study for hundreds of hours for the actuarial exams
  • Be very patient - Many people take 7-10 years to become fully qualified, and within that time frame you will not get many breaks from studying. Many people don’t even finish all the exams
  • Outside of the insurance industry, an actuarial science degree and actuarial exams aren’t necessarily as highly valued. Many employers won’t even know what an actuary is 

Note: Being a Self-Employed Actuary is extremely rare, so this job does not tend to attract students with an entrepreurial spirit. 

The cool stuff

As an Actuary, you will get to:

  • Help people when they are in times of need (If you choose to work in Insurance)
  • Do a whole bunch of math! 
  • Have opportunities for growth & advancement in this path
Typical work hours
  •  40+ hours a week

Are you the right fit?

Classes you should be good at
  • Math
  • Business/Economics
Best high school track(s)
  • Economics/Sociology
Personal qualities
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Good With Numbers
  • Reasoning & Problem Solving

Will you make money?

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Education stuff:

Education required
  • A Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, Actuarial science, or Business
  • Coursework in statistics, economics, computer science, calculus, and corporate finance provide an excellent foundation for actuarial exams and entry-level jobs
  • To maximize your potential to land a fulfilling entry-level job as an Actuary, you should also try to perform at least one internship where you can work in partnership with experienced actuaries
  • Actuary internships are typically offered by major insurance companies
  • You will have to sit for professional actuarial exams of the Society of Actuaries (SOA), Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or Institute of Actuaries (IoA) 
Helpful resources
Local universities
International universities