Tips For a Successful Actuarial Career

The actuarial profession is the best career choice, according to a recent ranking by

To make this determination, the job placement website looks at work environment, including emotional and physical factors; income, such as employment and salary growth; 11 stress factors and other considerations to develop their ranking. The average income for actuaries is about $94,000, according to CareerCast, but I can assure you that actuarial consultants make much more.

I have been working with actuaries in various capacities for nearly 25 years. With only about 6,000 actuaries in the country, members of this elite group are fantastic to work with, which is why I proposed a “hug an actuary day.

Tips for Success

Becoming a successful actuary, however, is not as easy as it was in the past when actuarial work was primarily number crunching. Based on several articles I’ve written, I believe that for actuaries to be successful in the future, they need to pursue three additional disciplines that go beyond the multi-year exam process. They are:

Solid Communication Skills. The actuary that can clearly communicate to the C-Suite and customers will be welcome at the decision-making table. Having helped actuaries with everything from publicity to editing articles for publication and reports for customers, I can attest that actuaries who invest in quality communication to effectively build eminence and have more satisfied customers. To learn more, check out my article on the future of the actuarial profession.

Statistical Background. Predictive modeling has taken the insurance industry by storm, but more actuaries need the statistical background to do it. As I cover in my article, “Professional Jealousy,” statisticians are gaining ground in areas that were once the domain of actuaries. (Statisticians are ranked #4 by CareerCast.) To learn more, check out the “Predictive Modeling” blog tab.

Technological Expertise. Actuaries that can offer technological expertise will be able to offer innovative solutions to the challenges being faced by insurance companies. Besides exploring programming languages such as F#, actuaries must harness technological innovation to be successful. 

Ranking of Other Professions

Two of the professions in CareerCast’s top ten ranking require skill sets similar to actuarial work including mathematician and statistician while three others require technological expertise including data scientist, software engineer and computer systems analyst. The other three in the top ten ranking are: audiologist, biomedical engineer and occupational therapist.

So what is the worst job in CareerCast’s ranking of 200 professions? Newspaper reporting. It figures!

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