Actuary Career - Vast Opportunities of Actuary Jobs

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Full professional status in an actuarial career is based not only on previous trainings, both formal and on-the-job , but also on the successful completion of a series of examinations. The actuary may become an ''associate'' in the Society of Actuaries after the successful completion of five examinations out of a total of ten for the life and health insurance and pension fields, and in the Casualty Actuarial Society after successfully completing seven out of ten in the property and liability field.

Persons who successfully complete the entire series of exams for either organization are granted full membership and the title ''fellow.'' The American Society of Pension Actuaries gives seven examinations in the pension field. It awards membership after the successful completion of two actuarial examinations and confers fellowship status on those who pass three actuarial and two advanced consulting exams. Because the first part of the examination series of each society cover similar materials, students need not to commit themselves to a specialty until they have taken three examinations. These three test competence in subjects such as linear algebra, numerical methods, operations research, probability, calculus, and statistics. Completion of the entire series may require from five to ten years.

Preference in actuarial employment is usually given to those people who have completed at least the first two examinations and to those with experience. Students proposing to become actuaries should complete at least two of the preliminary examinations while still in college, as these examinations cover subjects usually taught in colleges and universities, whereas the more advanced examinations cover aspects of the profession itself. These preliminary examinations may also help students in determining prior to graduation whether or not they will enter the actuarial profession. On the other hand, Consulting pension actuaries who service private pension plans and certify their solvency must be enrolled by the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries, a U.S. government agency. To be accepted, applicants must meet certain experience and educational requirements as stipulated by the Joint Board in order to cope with the complexity of actuary jobs that they may hold with.

Exploration of the work of the actuarial careers may be initiated in a number of different ways. Inquiries sent to the organizations listed at the end of this article will result in basic information. Visits to insurance companies for talks with actuaries or insurance employees in general are another possibility. Summer employment is offered by a number of insurance companies that are willing to hire and train college undergraduates during summer months. Beginning actuaries often rotate among jobs to learn various actuarial operations and different phases of insurance work. At first they may prepare correspondence, reports, and research. Because of the need for additional trained actuaries, insurance companies are encouraging young people to talk with their employees and representatives regarding the possibility of careers in actuarial science. Jobs in actuary involves a task to assemble and analyze statistics. The work calls for an interest in solving problems, conducting research, and interpreting numerical data. Skills in these areas are also needed by such workers as economists, engineering analysts, financial analysts, mathematicians, and statisticians.

Hence, the best way for the individual to be part of the profession in actuarial analyst jobs is by taking the necessary examinations already mentioned while still in college. Once students have graduated and passed these exams successfully, they are in a very good position to apply for beginning jobs in the field and can command higher starting salaries. After a position is secured and some time has been spent in on-the-job training, newcomers in the field will be ready to take the more advanced examinations that will qualify them as a fellow in the particular society applied for. These examinations are usually taken by those in junior actuarial positions because they require extensive home study and experience in insurance work.

Furthermore, actuary career needs more advancement within the profession. This may have started from assistant, then associate, to chief actuary which is dependent to a great degree upon the individual's on-the-job performance of actuarial job, competence on the actuarial examinations, and the display of leadership capabilities. Some actuaries qualify for administrative positions in underwriting, accounting, or investment because of their broad general knowledge and their knowledge of the insurance field. Many advance to administrative or executive positions, such as head of a department, vice-president or president of a company, manager of an insurance rating bureau, partner in a consulting firm, or, possibly, state insurance commissioner. Hence, advancement of the profession is open to actuaries in many areas.
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