To understand better on the complicated nature of works of actuaries jobs are, an example situation will show you how things are done. For instance, actuaries are able to determine how many of each 1,000 people twenty-one years old today are expected to survive to age sixty-five. They can calculate how many of them are expected to die this year or how many are expected to live until age eighty-five. The probability that such an insured person may die during the period before reaching sixty-five is a risk to the company. The actuaries must figure a price for the premium that will cover all claims and expenses as they occur and still be profitable for the company assuming the risk. At the same time, the price must be competitive with what other insurance companies are charging. In the same way, actuaries calculate premium rates and determine policy provisions for each type of insurance coverage. Most actuaries specialize as casualty actuaries, dealing with property and liability insurance, or as life actuaries, working with life and health insurance. In addition, those who concentrate on pension plans form a third, and growing, group of specialists.
Actuarial science jobs may vary in many departments -like in insurance companies, including underwriting, group insurance, investment, pension, sales, and service. In addition to their own company's business, they analyze characteristics of the insurance business as a whole. They study general economic and social trends, as well as legislative, health, and other developments, all of which may affect insurance practices. With this broad knowledge, some actuaries reach executive positions where they can influence and help determine company policy. Actuary executives may communicate with government officials, company executives, policyholders, or the public to explain complex technical matters. They may testify before public agencies regarding proposed legislation that has a bearing on the insurance business, or explain proposed changes in premium rates or contract provisions.
Actuarial career can be hired by the federal government and will likely work with a particular type of governmental insurance or pension program, such as veterans' insurance or social security. Those who work for state governments are concerned with the supervision and regulation of insurance companies, the operations of state retirement or pension systems, and problems related to unemployment insurance and workers' compensation. Others may be employed as consulting actuaries, working on a fee basis, to set up pension and welfare plans for various unions or governmental agencies or private enterprise. They calculate the amount of future benefits to be paid to the workers and determine how much the employer will contribute to the plans. These pension plans are evaluated by actuaries enrolled under the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act who prepare reports on their financial soundness.
To attain a full-pledge actuary career, one must have a bachelor's degree with major in mathematics or statistics as usually required for entry into actuarial work. A degree in actuarial science is even more advantageous. Employers in search of actuaries are interested both in ability and achievement in mathematics as well as in an applicant's personal characteristics. The abilities to assume positions of leadership and to deal and work with people are prime requisites. Prospective actuaries should have a talent for detail work. At the same time, a broad outlook will be needed if they are to understand overall business and economic problems and trends. The ability to think along far-reaching outlines of policy planning is also necessary.
Furthermore, high-school students who aim to land with actuary analyst jobs in the future should take as much mathematics as possible. They should continue this training on through the bachelor's degree, taking courses in elementary and advanced algebra, differential and integral calculus, descriptive and analytical statistics, principles of mathematical statistics, probability, and numerical analysis. Because mathematics and statistics are essential requirements for actuaries, some companies may hire applicants with degrees in engineering, economics, or business administration, provided their backgrounds in the essentials is strong enough. Computer science is important to actuarial training. Courses in accounting and insurance also are useful. Although only about thirty colleges and universities offer a degree in actuarial science, degrees in mathematics and statistics are available at several hundred schools. These qualifications are needed because the nature of actuary jobs is vital actuary employment to the success of the business organization.