So you want to be an Actuary?

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Are you tech-savvy, detail-oriented, have strong analytical skills, can think critically, have advanced skills in math, enjoy problem-solving, and are achievement oriented? Well then the path to becoming an actuary might be the perfect fit for your skill set.

Actuaries are experts in managing and assessing risks on all sorts of projects. They use their analytical skills paired with their business expertise to make educated suggestions of the risk and uncertainty of different opportunities. Their role is much more than crunching numbers, they play a critical part in the assessment of business decisions in all companies.

A day in the life of an actuary is quite different from any other career path. Their daily routines actually don’t have much routine to them at all. As an actuary, your environment is always changing with a multitude of tasks or projects at hand. Whether it is meeting with a client, preparing a report, researching information for new projects, discussing solutions for a new assignment with a team, attending a training session, having a conference call with a coworker, studying for your next exam, or meeting with senior management, the day-to-day activities are never the same. The job of an actuary is very multi faceted and requires strong time management skills whether you are first starting out in the field or are an experienced employee.

Another great aspect of pursuing a career in actuarial science is the work-life balance. Since actuaries typically work desk jobs, with some travel, the opportunity for a good personal life is very achievable. According to, rankings indicate that actuaries have high scores in “work environment, employment outlook, job security, growth opportunity, and salary (especially salary)” making it the perfect career path for anyone.

So, where do actuaries usually work? Actuaries are needed across all industries, however, the insurance industry is one of the most prominent ones. Companies like Liberty Mutual and State Farm need actuaries as their analytical backbone. Another popular industry to breakthrough as an actuary is consulting! This is a great opportunity for actuaries who have a passion for problem-solving and are strong critical thinkers.  Actuaries can also be found working for the government, labor unions, rating bureaus, and more.

Interested in learning a few fast facts about being an actuary? Read some information here that talks about the salary potential, actuarial requirements, and lists other resources. The Career Explorer on BentleyLink has even more material on actuaries such as this document! Go explore their resources for additional insight!

By Melissa J. Sawyer
Melissa J. Sawyer Senior Associate Director / Operations Manager, Pulsifer Undergraduate Career Development Center Melissa J. Sawyer