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Actuarial Science Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations -
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Career Path Forecast
According 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 consulting.

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 growth.

Consulting 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.

Nonetheless, 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.

Job 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 new jobs.

The 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.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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