Acturarial Science

By: Emma Henkhaus

What Do They Do?

Actuaries assess the risk of events and produce policies that help decrease the cost, usually for insurance companies. They attend to financial questions, including how much and where they should invest to maximize it's return. Actuaries also use statistics, finance, and business to help design insurance policies, pension plans, and other financial strategies so that the company can still make money.

What Does That Mean?

They make probability tables which determine the chance that a possible future event will cause a claim. Then they estimate how much a company can expect to pay in claims. Then they make sure the price, or premium, charged for the insurance will allow the company to pay for any claims. It has to be profitable, but low enough to compete with other companies.

Different Types of Actuaries

Life Insurance actuaries help companies develop annuity and life insurance policies for individuals by estimating how long someone is expected to live. They could also work for management, scientific and technical consulting services. A small amount of actuaries work for government agencies.
A Day in the Life - Actuary
This video describes what actuaries do on a normal day.

Average Salaries

The median annual wage is about $84,810. The middle 50% earn between $62,020 and $119,11. The lowest 10% earn about $49,150. The top 10% can earn more than $160,780.

The annual starting salaries for graduates with a bachelor's degree is about $56,320.


Actuaries must pass lots of exams to be able to get on the job experience. Then they must take 4 exams a year to advance to the "Associate Level", and then the "Fellowship Level." Some students study for months in advance to the exams, so they can pass all of them as quickly as possible.