Career Path Forecast
to the U.S. Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
employment of actuaries is expected to increase by 21 percent over
the 2008 -18 period, which is much faster than the average for all
occupations. While employment in the insurance industry -- the largest
employer of actuaries -- will experience some growth, greater job growth
will occur in other industries, such as financial services and
Despite slower than average growth of the insurance industry, employment
in this key sector is expected to increase during the projection period
as actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of
insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks. Natural
disasters should continue to require the work of actuaries in property
and casualty insurance while the growing popularity of annuities, a
financial product offered primarily by life insurance companies, will
also spur demand. Penetration among actuaries into non-traditional
areas, such as the financial services sector, to help price corporate
security offerings, for example, will also contribute to some employment
firms should experience strong employment demand as an increasing number
of industries utilize actuaries to assess risk. Increased regulation of
managed healthcare companies and drafting healthcare legislation will
also spur employment growth.
may be, to a degree, offset by corporate downsizing and consolidation of
the insurance industry—the largest employer of actuaries. Life insurance
companies, for example, are expected to increasingly shed high level
actuarial positions as companies merge and streamline operations.
Pension actuaries will also experience declining demand. This is largely
due to the decline of defined benefit plans, which required review by an
actuary, in favor of investment-based retirement funds, such as 401ks.
seekers are likely to face competition because the number of job
openings is expected to be less than the number of qualified applicants.
College graduates who have passed two of the initial exams and completed
an internship should enjoy the best prospects. A solid foundation in
mathematics, including the ability to compute complex probability and
statistics, is essential. Experience or skills in computer programming
can also be important. In addition to job growth, a small number of jobs
will open up each year to replace actuaries who retire or transfer to
best employment opportunities should be in consulting firms. Companies
that may not find it cost-effective to employ their own actuaries are
increasingly hiring consulting actuaries to analyze various risks.
Openings should also be available in the healthcare field if changes
take place in managed healthcare. The desire to contain healthcare costs
will provide job opportunities for actuaries who will be needed to
evaluate the risks associated with new medical issues, such as the
impact of new diseases.
Because actuarial skills are increasingly seen as useful to other
industries that deal with risk, such as the airline and the banking
industries, additional job openings may be created in these industries.
Some resources in this section are provided by the the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.