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Actuary—Career Q&A: Professional Advice and Insight

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Actuaries use statistical formulas and techniques to calculate the probability of events such as death, disability, sickness, unemployment, retirement, and property loss. Actuaries develop formulas to predict how much money an insurance company will pay in claims, which determines the overall cost of insuring a group, business, or individual. Increase in risk raises potential cost to the company, which, in turn, raises its rates. Actuaries analyze risk to estimate the number and amount of claims an insurance company will have to pay. They assess the cost of running the business and incorporate the results into the design and evaluation of programs.

Casualty actuaries specialize in property and liability insurance; life actuaries in health and life insurance. Pension actuaries deal only with pension plans. The total number of actuaries employed in the United States is approximately 23,600.

Salary Range

$50,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree




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Chief Actuary or Business Executive


Assistant Actuary

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