What is an Actuary ?

“The primary role of the actuary is to consider the future and make sense of it”

Institute of Actuaries of Australia


The future is full of uncertainty. Some of the events that can happen are undesirable. "Risk" is the possibility that an undesirable event will occur. Actuaries are experts in:
There are many ways to manage risk. While there are some well-established techniques, more are being developed. It is an active area of research, both by faculty in universities and by practicing actuaries, who are constantly inventing new ways to maximize financial results for the participants in our economy, without exposing them to excessive risk. Some popular techniques include:
At this time, the majority of actuaries work in careers that are associated with the insurance industry, though growing numbers work in other fields. They are heavily involved in insurance because that is society’s most powerful answer for managing risk. We reduce our risk of financial loss by transferring it to an insurance company that accepts the risk for a price (which is the insurance premium). Actuaries play a key role to design insurance plans, determine the premium, monitor the profitability of insurance companies and recommend corrective action when appropriate. Actuaries working in insurance companies also ensure that insurance companies have set aside enough funds to pay claims and provide advice on how to invest the insurance companies’ assets.
Actuaries work in all sectors of the economy, though they are more heavily represented in the financial services sector, including insurance companies, commercial banks, investment banks and retirement funds. They are employed by corporations as well as the state and federal government. Many work for consulting firms. Some are self-employed, enjoying financially rewarding careers that also come with the great flexibility of being one’s own boss.
And at last.
The job "actuary" has been rated the second best job in the United States by the Jobs Rated Almanac (Sixth Edition, 2002). The popular reference book lists the actuarial profession above other highly regarded careers such as accountant or attorney.
Be an Actuary