Currently a shortage of fully qualified actuaries exists, and even more will be needed as the number and type of insurance and pension programs grow. Moreover, actuarial job will be in particular demand in the insurance field in order to establish rates in the several new areas of coverage that are growing, such as prepaid legal, dental, and kidnap insurance. As more people are living longer, the insurance industry must meet the need for improved and extended health care and retirement benefits, and actuaries must determine rates based on probabilities of such factors as retirement, sickness, and death. In many cases, actuarial data that have been supplied by rating bureaus are now being developed in new actuarial departments created in companies affected by new competitive rating laws that are being passed in many states. Other new areas of insurance coverage that will involve actuaries jobs include product and pollution liability insurance, as well as greater workers' compensation and medical malpractice coverage.
Regarding the trend of actuary employment, it can be noted in the early years that about 9,400 actuaries were employed in the United States in the early 1990s. More than half of these worked for private insurance companies, the majority in life insurance, the rest in property and casualty insurance. Perhaps one-third of all actuaries were employed by independent consulting firms. Some actuaries worked for rating bureaus (associations that supply actuarial data to member companies), and others were in business for themselves or were employed by private organizations to administer independent pension and welfare plans. Still others were employed by federal or state government agencies or taught in colleges and universities. Many actuaries work in five cities that are major insurance company headquarters: New York, Hartford, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. Because of new state and federal legislation in areas relating to pension reform, no-fault automobile insurance, competitive rating, and other new proposals, a real need will exist in the field of actuarial studies. This trend will continue throughout the years. In addition, the need for actuaries is not likely to be affected by economic recession, especially in the field of insurance, which is considered a priority by most individuals and businesses.
On the other hand, earning capacity of a person who is engaged with actuarial analyst jobs in a company is very competent. In fact, in the year 1990s alone, the average starting salary in the life insurance field was $19,000 to $24,000 a year. This was for new college graduates who had not passed any actuarial examinations. During this period, starting salaries for new graduates who had passed one exam were between $21,000 and $25,000; those who had passed two exams averaged between $23,000 and $26,000. In some cases, college graduates were able to command up to $30,000 a year for entry-level jobs. Salary ranges depend on the part of the country in which an actuary wishes to work, as well as the type of actuaries jobs he is engaged with. Although data is not available for casualty companies and consulting firms, actuaries in those fields earn similar salaries to those in the insurance field. Most companies give merit increases to actuaries as they gain experience and pass examinations. In the insurance field, actuaries who became associates in the early 1990s earned salaries in the $32,000 t $45,000 range; those who became fellows were paid from $44,000 to $55,000. Top executive salaries for actuaries in the life insurance field were $60,000 a year and more. Today, jobs in actuary can command hundreds of thousand dollars per annum, and those from executive level can easily earn a million dollars a year, especially involving actuarial jobs in multi-national firms.
Moreover, what is good in the work conditions of actuaries is that – they can normally expect to work in quiet, pleasant, well-ventilated, and well-lighted facilities. They usually work at a desk or table, where they spend most of the day. Many, however, find it necessary to travel to various units of the organization or to other businesses. This is especially true of the consulting actuary. Actuaries usually work in their actuarial job will spend thirty-five to forty hours per week, receive vacation with pay, and are covered by sickness, accident, and hospitalization insurance as well as pension plans. Actuaries must be able to work either by themselves or with others and be able to express themselves clearly both in speech and in writing. Likewise, in actuary career, it is absolutely necessary that they maintain high ethical standards if they expect to make progress within the field and if they expect to represent their company as the company wishes to be represented. There is a great amount of detail work requiring much concentration and mental effort, and the stress level among actuaries is relatively high. If properly oriented to the work, however, the actuary will usually find it satisfying, rewarding, and interesting.