What is Actuary: Definition and 23 Discussions

An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. The name of the corresponding field is actuarial science. These risks can affect both sides of the balance sheet and require asset management, liability management, and valuation skills. Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their mechanisms.While the concept of insurance dates to antiquity, the concepts needed to scientifically measure and mitigate risks have their origins in the 17th century studies of probability and annuities. Actuaries of the 21st century require analytical skills, business knowledge, and an understanding of human behavior and information systems to design and manage programs that control risk. The actual steps needed to become an actuary are usually country-specific; however, almost all processes share a rigorous schooling or examination structure and take many years to complete.The profession has consistently been ranked as one of the most desirable. In various studies, being an actuary was ranked number one or two multiple times since 2010 and in the top 20 for most of the past decade.

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  1. AimaneSN

    Getting into an engineering career with no degree...

    Hi there, I need some guidance regarding a personal ambition of mine. I am currently working as an actuary in the insurance field in my native country (not the U.S. nor Canada) after having taken undergraduate courses in mathematics and physics some 6 years ago. And though I get to use my...
  2. W

    I Question on Actuary Exam -- Error?

    Hi All, I was trying to help someone in a question for the actuary exam. I wonder if there is a mistake or whether I am missing something obvious here: What is the age a 90-year old man can expect to live given the probability an x year old man will live until age x+1 is given by ##...
  3. Eclair_de_XII

    Math I don't think I can become an actuary

    I just get too fatigued from studying, reading, and doing coursework from my current school curriculum. So I don't think that I could handle working at a full-time job, while studying for any examinations. With my current three senior-division math courses (which include linear algebra, vector...
  4. Eclair_de_XII

    Math I'm starting to reconsider trying to become an actuary

    I'm trying to self-study financial mathematics right now, and I'm finding that it's difficult to teach myself from the book. It was like this when I was trying to teach myself physics from that Fundamentals of Physics textbook a few years ago. Studying without any plan or curriculum just burned...
  5. Derek Francis

    Math Breaking into an Actuary Career: Exam Requirements and Interview Advice

    1) Assuming one has a good GPA, some intern experience, at least 2 exams passed and is willing to re-locate would it be very difficult to break into an entry level job in the field? 2) Any advice for job interviews? How can I prepare for them in advance? I'm a little awkward sometimes but...
  6. S

    Physics/Math major thinking of an Actuary related job

    At the moment, I am a physics major and also putting a lot of emphasis on math. I am in my second year of undergrad at the moment. While my "dream" goal does include going into a PhD for physics, I do realize it's a long and demanding journey, so I have also been looking at actuary related jobs...
  7. J

    Lover of Math but dont know which career path to take

    I'm currently a sixth form student in Jamaica starting to think about career paths to take. I'm in love with math and I'm sure ill never drop out of love with it. But I'm a little uncertain about which career path to take. I was thinking of either doing acturial science but wonder if the job...
  8. M

    Engineering Mechanical engineer vs. actuary

    hey pf! the title pretty much sums up my question: what are the differences between actuarial work and engineering? if you have experience OUTSIDE of academics, please share your insight, as i'd really appreciate it. my brief background: i have a double major in mathematics and economics...
  9. G

    How Many Ways to Select Elements in a 6x5 Array with Constraints?

    [b]1. Given a 6x5 array of unique elements, how many ways can three elements be selected so that no two are in the same row or column? [b]2. Fundamental Counting Principle? [b]3. This question was a sample question in the Actuary P1 exam prep I am reviewing. I thought it would be...
  10. KevinMWHM

    Actuarial vs Economics: Kevin's Dilemma

    I have chance to go to a less expensive school (Westfield State) 40 minutes away or a more expensive school (UMass Amherst) an hour away. I am older and can not relocate due to family/job. Westfield only offers an Economics/Math BA (which I had not thought much about). UMass has an actuary...
  11. A

    Math Does it make sense for a math Ph.D. to pursue a career as an actuary?

    I hope to have my Ph.D. in math by the end of the summer. My dissertation is in mathematical physics. But I feel woefully under-qualified for academic positions - I've made excellent grades in all my math classes, but I don't really think I love math as much as some of the people I tend to meet...
  12. H

    Would you recommend I go to graduate school? I'm trying to be an actuary.

    I am currently graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a 4.0, and I have my BofSci degree in math with an emphasis in ops research. I'm preparing for my actuarial tests, and I'm not worried about passing them. However, I know it's a bit of a tight market. I was considering...
  13. R

    Thinking of becoming an actuary

    Hey guys, I'm not really sure if this belongs here but I've been looking into the actuary field for a while and decided that I'm pretty interested in it. For some background: I just finished my freshman year at a decently reputable small liberal arts college. I was originally thinking about a...
  14. T

    Advice on my path to become an actuary

    Due to various life circumstances, I've had to move around a bit for the past 8 years and haven't been able to attend the same university for long enough to earn a degree due to credits in residency requirements. I have earned 204 credits from a combination of: Harvard University, University of...
  15. O

    Becoming an actuary without majoring in Acturial Science?

    I am a high school student who will be attending at university this fall to study mathematics. During pure mathematics education, I wish to prepare for acturial exams concurrently, but without taking any Acturial Science courses. I do realize that majoring mathematics demands a lot of work and...
  16. K

    Question about being an actuary

    What's the process like? I've heard there are many exams to write and they are quite difficult. Is it possible to be prepared in writing the actuarial exam by taking a 3 year general math degree? Would you guys recommend a statistics degree instead of a math degree? What classes should i be...
  17. Y

    What Else Do I Need to Know To Become a Good Actuary

    What other subjects/courses do I need to be a good Actuary? I know that Math is not the only thing I will need in order to be successful in this career. I just want to know what other course/subjects do I need to look on to if I want to be a good Actuary. Thanks! :)
  18. E

    Math Actuary and Mathematics - Just how much?

    Hello- I'm curious about the depth of mathematics which a successful actuary must know. I'm enrolled in Calculus with Single Variable, which is a general calculus class. However, there is one with Honors, in which only a few are accepted and are taught the same material but with a more...
  19. A

    Thinking of Becoming an Actuary, in last year of high school

    Hello! So I am in Canada, and applications for universities are due in a few months. I love music, and i also love math. I recently stumbled on a career path of Actuarial Science and i think it sounds rather cool. I've heard about all the exams and how everything will pay off in the end...
  20. H

    Engineering Electrical engineering vs actuary

    So here's the rundown: I just got into the electrical engineering department. However, I've already taken some intro EE classes (intro circuits, intro DSP, intro logic design) and even an advanced one (devices, transistors) and i really didnt like any of them at all. However, i am also a...
  21. B

    Does anyone know the path towards becoming an actuary?

    Does anyone know the path towards becoming an actuary? How does an actuary become an actuary: graduate school, experience, etc.? Thanks for any answers.
  22. B

    Engineering Industrial Engineer vs. Actuary (AND: should I be in engineering?)

    Hi everyone, I'm a first year engineering student, and basically I'm wondering if I'm in the right program or not. This post is kind of long (but for a good reason), so first I'll thank anyone who takes the time to read it all and give me their input. I chose engineering because I'm a...
  23. G

    Pursuing Actuary Career: Transcripts, Exams, & Job Search

    Is anyone on the board an actuary or has anyone on here taken the actuary exams? I have graduated witha BS in math and a minor in economics, and was wondering if this was enough to pursue a career as an actuary. The only problem is that I have never ever taken any stat or probability classes...