There are certain jobs which are highly expected to have high demand in the future. Statistical data indicates that there will be more job openings in this field. One type of these jobs is an actuary. Although this career is not easy, it’s promising with great returns. Below is an overview of actuary jobs, including the pros and cons.
What Are Actuary Jobs?
These jobs include professionals who analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries normally use their statistical, mathematical, and financial skills to assess the risks of potential events. Additionally, they help organizations to develop policies which help to minimize the cost of that risk. Generally, actuaries are responsible for:
- Compiling statistical data.
- Estimating the probability and the economic costs of an event such as accident, natural disaster, and death, etc.
- Producing analysis reports in terms of tables, charts, and calculations.
- Designing, testing, and administering pension plans, investments, and policies, etc.
How to Become an Actuary
An actuary needs to have a bachelor’s degree. This should be in an area such as statistics, actuarial science, and mathematics. Besides those, having a degree in the analytical field is still relevant. It’s worth noting that students should also complete coursework in areas such as corporate finance, economics, and applied statistics among others.
Note that coursework in databases and computer science, especially in programming is also needed. You need to have the ability to use and develop spreadsheets. Besides that, you should be familiar with various statistical analysis tools. And because some actuaries are responsible for communication, they also need to be good at public speaking.
Licenses and Certification
There are two popular professional societies for actuaries. They include the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). They have programs which lead to full professional status. Note that CAS certifies actuaries who work in the casualty and property fields. This includes categories such as medical malpractice, automobile, and homeowners, etc. On the other hand, SOA usually certifies those in health insurance and retirement benefits. Additionally, it also certifies those working in life insurance, finance, and investments.
Unique Benefits of Working in Actuary Jobs
Research studies show that actuaries are on top of most job lists. This means that choosing this career path can result in good returns. This is because it has multiple desirable aspects. Some of the unique benefits of working in the actuary field include:
1. A Well-Respected Career
Although actuaries are not normally visible, there are well-respected professionals. Overall, they are normally considered to the upper echelon of careers. As a matter of fact, they rank together with lawyers and doctors.
2. Varied Work Environment
Note that actuaries are not limited to working behind the desk only. This career path is diverse and varied. There are those that are mainly tasked to reporting to the upper management. Apart from that, you can write reports, analyze data, liaise with clients, and give presentations to trustees.
3. Great Job Security
Note that there are not so many actuarial jobs in small cities. However, this doesn’t meet that there is a shortage. If you are highly qualified, then opportunities are everywhere. You can get a good position without high competition.
4. Challenging Work
Only those who are determined can succeed in actuarial exams. Although they are not usually very difficult, they are challenging. Furthermore, a career in this field requires a wide set of skills. It’s important to have an analytical mind, the ability to breakdown difficult concepts, and good business acumen.
5. Good Money
This is where the icing is. In fact, one of the reasons why people are choosing this career path is the pay. An actuary can start off with an average pay of $ 25,000. This amount can reach up to $125,000 or even higher.
Disadvantages of Working in Actuary Field
As much as working in the actuary field seems great, not all is rosy. All people hear most of the times are the good sides. So, if you are taking this career path, there are still certain downsides that you might experience. They include:
- Challenging exams: you need to be fully committed if you want to pass actuarial exams. Students in this field normally spend hundreds of hours studying for exams.
- Highly specialized: as much as it’s less competitive, you need to specialize in a certain area. This is what will significantly increase your job prospects.
- Long working hours: the higher you go up the ladder, the more you will spend time working. This is a demanding field that’s known to have longer working hours.
- Little room for errors: You can only be successful in this field if you are sharp. You are analyzing millions and billions for an organization. Therefore, there is very little room for errors.
- Your computer is your companion: all information including presentations and analysis reports are usually on your computer. In this career path, your computer is undoubtedly your closest coworker.
The Bottom Line
In summation, being an actuary means figuring out what financial risks a company. You need to critically analyze them and come with ways to avoid negative impacts. If you are interested in it, being an actuary is certainly a good career. However, it needs commitment, smart brains, and dedication.