Day in the Life
have desk jobs, and their offices usually are comfortable and pleasant.
They often work at least 40 hours a week. Some actuaries -- particularly
consulting actuaries -- may travel to meet with clients. Consulting
actuaries also may experience more erratic employment and be expected to
work more than 40 hours per week.
Actuaries may play a
role in determining company policy and may need to explain complex
technical matters to company executives, government officials,
shareholders, policyholders, or the public in general. They may testify
before public agencies on proposed legislation affecting their
businesses or explain changes in contract provisions to customers. They
also may help companies develop plans to enter new lines of business or
new geographic markets with existing lines of business by forecasting
demand in competitive settings.
Both staff actuaries
employed by businesses and consulting actuaries provide advice to
clients on a contract basis. The duties of most consulting actuaries are
similar to those of other actuaries. For example, some may evaluate
company pension plans by calculating the future value of employee and
employer contributions and determining whether the amounts are
sufficient to meet the future needs of retirees. Others help companies
reduce their insurance costs by lowering the level of risk the companies
For instance, they may provide advice on how to lessen the risk
of injury on the job, which will lower worker's compensation costs.
Consulting actuaries sometimes testify in court regarding the value of
the potential lifetime earnings of a person who is disabled or killed in
an accident, the current value of future pension benefits (in divorce
cases), or other values arrived at by complex calculations. Many
consulting actuaries work in reinsurance, a field in which one insurance
company arranges to share a large prospective liability policy with
another insurance company in exchange for a percentage of the premium.
Some resources in this section are provided by the the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.