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About Actuarial Scientists

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Actuarial scientists are a vital part of companies if they want to identify and control risks. For many companies, such as insurance companies, an actuary will determine what their premiums should be according to risks. The collection of all the data including dividends, risks and premiums must be calculated using many factors.

What Actuarial Scientists Do

Private companies and government use scientists to research information and decide on a price for the premiums they must charge according to the risk that is involved. Regardless of the type of risk - some are foreseeable and some are not - the need for insurance to protect businesses is paramount.

A degree in this field will put you in the top 15 highest paying salaried jobs in the country. As it stands presently, actuarial scientists are mainly employed by insurance companies. There are however, many who work elsewhere.

The insurance actuary is important because everything we value can be insured to reduce our risks. The insurance company assumes the risk in exchange for the premiums they are paid. By monitoring the insurance companies for profits versus payouts, they can recommend a reduction or increase in premiums as needed.

Even divisions of the government, for example, Medicare and Social Security depend upon actuarial scientists. They study the trends in areas such as health statistics and how long people are expected to live in order to keep the risk of these programs to a minimum.

What are the Requirements?

In order to be successful, those interested in becoming actuarial scientists must have a great deal of knowledge about mathematics and the world of business. Degrees in accounting, finance, economics, mathematics, statistics and actuarial science are often held by those who are interested in becoming an actuary.

Potential actuarial scientists must have a great aptitude for math. Exams must be passed. These are given twice a year and are required for most businesses that are considering hiring an actuary. Communication is essential and computer knowledge is another plus for those looking for an opening in this position.

When deciding to become an actuary, after the education you have received, the first step is to become an Associate of a professional group, such as the Society of Actuaries (SOA). This is particularly for those who work in pensions, employee benefits and life and health coverage. The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) is another professional group handling those in worker's compensation, liability insurance, fire and auto insurance.

Ultimately four exams will be taken to become an actuary. The first step is to complete the Associate exam. Requirements include:

* Completing exams 1/P through 7
* Three Validations by Education Experiences subjects
* Attending the CAS Course on Professionalism

After this status has been achieved the actuarial will work for a few years to get experience. Then the Fellowship exam is normally completed.

The following exams are administrated by both the SOA and the CAS.

* Exam 1/P - Probability
* Exam 2/FM - Financial Mathematics
* Exam 3F/MLC - Financial Economics
* Exam 4/C - Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models

All are jointly administered except the SOA Exam MLC and the CAS Exam 3L. However, the CAS will give credit for their Exam 3L to persons passing the SOA Exam MLC.

Salaries of Actuarial Scientists

Dependent upon where they work and what type of business, actuarial scientists can earn from $50,000 to well over $100,000. The starting pay for an actuary typically starts at about $53,000. Some are self-employed and others work for corporations. They are also employed by the federal government as well as the state.

Certain areas of the country will naturally have higher paying positions available than others. This includes larger cities and areas where the business industry is more heavily present. Opportunities here will be far more prevalent than in small towns.

Benefits of Becoming an Actuarial Scientist

There are many benefits to this choice of careers. The options of who to work for is one. The choices include private companies, the government, or you may choose to be self-employed. There is definitely a large demand for the actuary. The future of this career continues to look good and the demand should continue. The holder of a bachelor's degree in this field will not have a problem finding a position.
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Popular tags:

 Social Security  Casualty Actuarial Society  economics  liability insurance  insurance  benefits  Society of Actuaries  profits  professions  statistics

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