Have you ever wondered why there are different life insurance rates for men and women or smokers and non-smokers? That is an example of the research that an actuary analyzes.

An actuary is a person who assesses the risk of certain events occurring and helps create insurance policies that minimize the cost of these risks. Most actuaries work in the insurance industry where they analyze data to assess the likelihood of the occurrence of events such as sickness injury disability loss of property and death. They produce tables to show how likely it is that a claim will be made by a customer and they use these tables to determine how much the company will have to pay in claims. They also use their knowledge to set the pricing of various insurance products to ensure that the company makes a profit.  Find a degree in math statistics.

Actuaries are mainly employed by property and casualty insurance companies life and health insurance companies banks and the government. Usually a college degree in math statistics or actuarial science is needed to start a career as an actuary. In addition actuaries should have strong computer skills and be able to develop and use spreadsheets and databases as well as standard statistical analysis software.

To achieve professional status actuaries must pass a set of examinations and other requirements prescribed by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA). The annual starting salaries for graduates with a bachelor's degree in actuarial science averaged $56320 in July 2009 and the top 10 percent of experienced actuaries earned more than $160780 yearly. According to the U.S. Department of Labor actuary career opportunities are projected to increase by 21 from 19750 in 2008 to 23900 by 2018.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $104965
High Salary: $160780
Low Salary: $49150
Tasks: Analyzes data.
Determines how a company should invest resources to maximize return on investments.
Helps design insurance policies, pension plans, and other financial strategies.
Assesses the risk of certain events occurring,
Also Called: Accountant
Insurance Worker
Number Cruncher
Additional Resources: