Actuary at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Actuary

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Actuary

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Connecticut 1,300 $115,420 $55
New Jersey 1,290 $107,280 $58
Maine 220 $70,850 $34

Becoming an Actuary

Actuaries must hold a bachelor's degree and successfully complete a series of exams in order to become certified as professionals. Actuaries typically earn an undergraduate degree in mathematics or statistics or a business-related filed such as finance or economics. A relatively small number of schools offer bachelor's and master's degrees in actuarial science.

Undergraduate coursework for students pursuing a career as an actuary should include economics, applied statistics, and corporate finance. Students should consider taking courses required for professional certification (see below). A sampling of classes you may take an actuarial science degree program, drawn from degree requirements for the University of Texas at San Antonio's bachelor of business administration degree in actuarial science program, include the following:

  • Probability and Statistics
  • Property-Liability Insurance Finance
  • Statistical Mathematics
  • Introduction to Stochastic Processes

Actuaries may intern or work for a company while completing the necessary exams for professional certification. Many employers support their actuaries throughout this process and may even offer paid time off to study. The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society for Actuaries (SOA) each offer two levels of certification, associate and fellowship. The CAS certifies actuaries in the property and casualty insurance field, while the SOA certifies actuaries working in life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits, investments, and finance. Since actuaries need to take anywhere from five to seven separate certification exams, the process can take four to six years to earn associate level status and an additional two years for fellowship.