Actuaries

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  • Actuaries analyze data to estimate the probability and likely cost to the company of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability, or loss of property.
  • Actuaries also address financial matters, such as how a company should invest resources to maximize return on investments, or how an individual should invest in order to attain a certain retirement income level.
  • Most actuaries are employed in the insurance industry, specializing in either property and casualty insurance or life and health insurance:
  • For example, property and casualty actuaries calculate the expected number of claims resulting from automobile accidents, which varies depending on the insured person's age, sex, driving history, type of car, and other factors.
  • Within the life and health insurance fields, actuaries help companies develop health and long-term-care insurance policies by predicting the likelihood of occurrence of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and other chronic ailments among a particular group of people who have something in common, such as living in a certain area or having a family history of illness.
  • Additionally, life insurance actuaries help companies develop annuity and life insurance policies for individuals by estimating how long someone is expected to live.
  • Actuaries in other financial service industries manage credit and help set a price for corporate security offerings.
  • They also devise new investment tools to help their firms compete with other companies.
  • Actuaries working for the government help manage social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
  • Consulting actuaries provide advice to clients on a contract basis. The duties of most consulting actuaries are similar to those of other actuaries.
  • Consulting actuaries sometimes testify in court regarding the value of potential lifetime earnings of a person who is disabled or killed in an accident.
  • Some actuaries work in reinsurance, a field in which one insurance company arranges to share a large prospective liability policy with another insurance company in exchange for a percentage of the premium.
  • While employment in the insurance industry—the largest employer of actuaries—will experience some growth, greater job growth will occur in other industries, such as financial services and consulting.
  • Employment in this key sector is expected to increase during the projection period as actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks.
  • Natural disasters should continue to require the work of actuaries in property and casualty insurance while the growing popularity of annuities, a financial product offered primarily by life insurance companies, will also spur demand.
  • Penetration among actuaries into non-traditional areas, such as the financial services sector, to help price corporate security offerings, for example, will also contribute to some employment growth.
  • Consulting firms should experience strong employment demand as an increasing number of industries utilize actuaries to assess risk.
  • Other workers whose jobs require mathematical and statistical skills include:
  • Accountants and auditors,
  • Budget analysts,
  • Economists,
  • Financial analysts,
  • Insurance underwriters,
  • Market and survey researchers,
  • Mathematicians,
  • Personal financial advisers ,
  • Statisticians.

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