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Quick Facts: Actuaries
2012 Median Pay $93,680 per year $45.04 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2012 24,300
Job Outlook, 2012-22 26% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 6,300

What Actuaries Do

Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries’ work is essential to the insurance industry.

Work Environment

Most actuaries work full time in an office setting. Actuaries who work as consultants may frequently travel to meet with clients.

How to Become an Actuary

Actuaries need a bachelor’s degree and must pass a series of exams to become certified professionals. They must have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and business.


The median annual wage for actuaries was $93,680 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 26 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks.

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