Exploration: Actuary

Exploration: Actuary

1. The O*NET-SOC code and title of the occupation is 15-2011.00-actuaries (O*NET)

2.This occupation is related to the following occupations inthe following ways: (O*NET)

Title of Occupation





Both deal with analysis of statistical data

They both have math skill

Statistical assistants


Both deals with analysis of statistical data

Both have math skill

Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary


They both have math skill

2. Briefly describe the history of this occupation and itsfunction for society

Each profession is formulated to serve a publicinterest. In 1762, the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives andSurvivorship Company was formulated in London (Hopke 1967). Theformation of the company created a need for the public purpose ofactuaries. The life insurance companies required more than countingthe cash in order to estimate the liabilities involved in futurebenefit payments and less future premiums payments. The futureliabilities need to be subtracted from the value of the assets toavoid the loss. The future estimation, therefore, do not involve thecash at hand. Therefore, predictions require the help of actuaries sothat the company does not go at a loss and in order to make goodservices to the clients. The valuating of the assets requires dataanalysis of the past experiences to enhance accuracy.

The public need to benefit through contract fulfillments(Lakoff 2015). Therefore, the data analysis of the actuarieswill determine accurate services to the customers without a strain tothe company. Since the actuaries also advice the clientsappropriately on the matters pertaining the insurance, they are ableto make a personal decision on how to go about the insurance. Theyalso serve a purpose of explaining the crucial and difficult policymatters of the company to the public hence serving the society. Theirrole has also expanded to the public companies and hence they helpthe society by auditing the accounts of those companies.

3. List at least five distinct primary work tasks performedin this occupation. (O*NET)

  1. Actuaries assess the premium rates needed as well as the cash reserves and liabilities that are needed to facilitate payment of future benefits and advice the organization accordingly.

  2. They also determine the organization’s policy as well as expound the technical and complex issues within the company to the stakeholders. The stakeholders include the company executives, the government officials, shareholders, policyholders as well as the public.

  3. T hey also design, review and administer insurance, annual plans, pension plans. In addition to this, they determine the financial budgets of the company and also calculate the premiums.

  4. They analyze the statistical data and use it to estimate the mortality, accidents, sickness, disability and the retirement rates within the company.

  5. The actuaries serve as the consultant to the clients and advice them accordingly.

4. What are the occupation’s most significant physical (e.g.,eyesight, endurance, sitting, etc.) or personality requirements(e.g., sociability, attention to detail, sequential thought, etc.)?

An actuary should have various skills that enable them toperform their jobs accurately. On top of the academic qualification,one should also be licensed. However, it is not enough. On thephysical abilities, the actuaries should have good eyesight that willmake them manage to see details at a close range (OOH 2009). The datainformation contains details crucial in the company. The actuaryshould also have the ability to communicate clearly. They shouldmanage to communicate with the clients in a way they can beunderstood especially when giving recommendations.

The actuaries also require some personalityrequirements. The individual should have math skill(Wüthrichet al. 2008). The skill should involve ability towork out calculus, statistics as well as the probability. Theknowledge helps in computing the data as well as the analysis inorder to submit accurate response. They also require a keenanalytical, project management and the problem solving skills. Duringthe analysis of the data, they come up with the conclusions. The datacomputed should show the various problems within the company. Withthe knowledge of the problem, their problem solving skill shouldenable them to give the appropriate recommendation that will help themanagement team to solve the issue.

The actuaries should also have a good business sense interms of the finance, accounting and economics so that they advicethe company on the budgeting matter to maximize on the profit(Yener 2015). Their communication skill should be appropriate.They also require a strong computer skill. The skill will be used inthe preparation of the spreadsheets, statistical analysis programsdatabase manipulation as well as the programming of the languages.They also need to be self motivated, creative, independent, andambitious as they are involved in policy making.

5. What level of demand/pressure/stress is there in the job? Alljobs are stressful – what kind of stress isfound in this occupation?

The greatest challenge regarding the Actuarialprofession is lack of job opportunities to the graduates(Wüthrich et al. 2008). In some cases the learners start theprofession at a period when the demand is high but the demand lowersFour years after later when they graduate. The nature of the job alsorequires one or two employees per company hence their demand isproportional to the number of companies that require data analysis.

The job also requires mathematical accuracy and keennessin the data analysis. The lack of accuracy leads to misappropriationof the rates that will end up sabotaging the company. The actuariesare accountable for the future mistakes. Therefore, they have to givean appropriate problem solving measures that should work in future.Considering that they work with assumptions, there is anxiety infuture results as the failure of the plans should not occur. Theactuaries are also expected to work for long hours and study forlonger period to pass the exams (OOH 2009).

6. What is the Holland Code for this occupation? ISE_

7.The potential median salary for this occupation is: _$ 46.49hourly, $ 96, 700 annually___(O*NET)

What is the potential salary range for this occupation and thetitle of the position that receives the highest wages? [e.g., $23,000(case worker) to $45,000 (therapist)]

The highest wages are $86.87 hourly, $180,680 annually (Yener 2015).

8. What major(s) would be most valuable to you if you were topursue this occupation? (Remember, not all business people majored inbusiness…) What is your reaction to this?

An individual preparing for the actuarial careershould major in actuarial science, math degree or statistics degree.Within the college, the person can opt to take some essential causesthat include two semesters of calculus, probability and statistics,economics, corporate finance as well as business communications(Szabo 2012). However, it is not the solely limited to these fields.Someone can also land in the industry having pursued operationresearch, engineering, physics, and fine arts. The ultimate goal isthe ability to pass the actuarial exams hence become eligible for theprofession.

9. Are there any qualifications and/or experiences required ofpeople entering this field (e.g., beyond required courses for themajor — such as internships, continuing ed, etc.)? What specializedtraining or licensing/certification is required or desirable to enterinto this field? (e.g., apprenticeship, licensing exam, requiredinternship, etc.)

For an individual to qualify for the career they need topass the preliminary exams. Through the exams they acquire necessaryknowledge on the career. The individual also requires the validationof the Educational Experience that contains there topics. The topicsare Economics, Corporate Finance and Applied Statistics Methods. Thetopics are not the prerequisite of the preliminary exams. Therefore,an individual can independently pursue them. The individual alsorequires passing the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the CasualtyActuarial Society (CAS) exams (Editorial Board2014). However, the employers can allow the employees topursue the exams while working and they can also offer theinternships.

10. What kind of work would a trainee (person just entering theoccupation) expect to be doing in the first few months or year(s),until enough knowledge and experience has been gained to perform theduties listed above? What is the sequence of promotional positionsone would naturally progress through if this was their career ?(e.g., trainee to associate to partner to VP to President) What isthe timeline in which a new employee can expect this promotionalprogression to take place (i.e., how long from lowest to highestposition)?

The Actuarial trainee is expected to carry out a number oftasks. The tasks include performing calculations necessary for thedecision making process. The trainee also needs to apply relevantlegislation knowledge to advice clients. The individual shouldperform time recording, budget monitoring, billing and financialmanagement (Ferguson Publishing 2009).

The individuals are promoted in reference to theperformance of the exams they are later given higher responsibilitieslike evaluating risks as well as advising the company appropriately.They are also entrusted with the task of policy making andconsultancy.

11. Name at least three different types/kinds of organizationswhich employ people from this occupation (e.g., marketing peoplemight be employed in universities, consulting firms, market researchfirms).

Actuaries can be employed in insurance companies,Specialist actuarial and management consultancies, Retail andinvestment banks, and the Government Actuarial Departments (GAD)among others (Singer 2011).

12. What is the Department of Labor’s projected employmentoutlook for this occupation? What forces seem to be impacting thisoutlook? (Note the date of your source also)

According OOH (2012), the department of Labor projectsthat between 2012 and 2022 there will be an increase by 26% of jobopportunities above the average.

13. Do members of this occupation have unions or professionalorganizations? (HINT: Every occupation has at least one.) If so,what are the names of these organizations, and at whataddress/website can they be reached?

The members of Actuary profession do not have a union.However, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) looks like a union though itis more of a gild (Szabo 2012).

14. List some specialized newsletters, magazines, or journals(HINT: Call the library) that pertain to the field associated withthis profession. (Yener2015)

  1. Actuary Magazine (The)

  2. Annals of Actuarial Science

  3. ASTIN Bulletin

  4. Australian Actuarial Journal

  5. Belgian Actuarial Bulletin

  6. British Actuarial Journal

  7. Bulletin of the Swiss Association of Actuaries

  8. European Actuarial Journal

  9. Journal of Actuarial Practice

  10. North American Actuarial Journal

  11. Proceedings of the Casualty Actuarial Society

  12. Risk Analysis

  13. Scandinavian Actuarial Journal

  14. South African Actuarial Journal

  15. Transactions of the International Congress of Actuaries

  16. The Actuary Magazine

15. What is/are the stereotypes of people who populate thisoccupation? (e.g., in terms of lifestyle, personality, politicalaffiliation, etc.) What will people think of you when you tell themyou are a “”? (Szabo 2012)

  • The actuaries are boring and have no social lives

  • The actuaries do not have a sense of humor

  • The actuaries hate their jobs since its difficult and specialized

  • They look lonely

  • They talk about studies always due to their difficult exams.

16. What major satisfactions would you derive from thisoccupation? What needs or values will be fulfilled by this job? Which of your personal needs/priorities would notbe satisfied?

Actuarial profession gives a satisfaction in problemsolving as well as making use of the creativity. The analysis of thedata to determine the risks a company is likely to be involved inmakes the actuary to make use of creativity and problem solving risksto give recommendations. However, much of the social needs are notsatisfied as one takes longer hours in the working area. Individualswith interests of interacting with children do not have the privilegein the working environment.

17. List some questions you would ask in an informationalinterview with someone in this field. (Falcone 2009)

  1. What do you know about the company?

  2. Why would you like to work for this company?

  3. What kin d of salary are you looking for?

  4. How do you define success?

  5. What are your weaknesses and strengths?

  6. Why do you want to be an actuary?

  7. What was your score on the exam?

  8. Tell me about a time where you had to work hard to achieve your goals.

  9. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years from now.

  10. Do you consider yourself a team worker or an individual worker?

  11. Tell me about a time when you were the leader of a project/demonstrated leadership.

  12. How familiar are you with Excel and Access?

  13. What languages can you program in a computer?

18. Having completed this assignment, write a brief paragraphdescribing your feelings or thoughts regarding this occupation. Howhave they changed or remained the same? Why?

The Actuary profession is one of the prestigious jobs in thecareer field. However, it is a job that contains challenges just likeany other jobs. Considering that I don’t mind working more than ampaid for, I am not discouraged by the fact that the job takes longerworking hours. I love being a perfectionist and taking keen detailsand I still believe the job is great. My feelings about the careermore positive than before since I know much said about theprofessional is just but stereotypes. It still remains a prestigiousjob with good payments. It is a place one can make good use ofcreativity.


Editorial Board. (2014). ScandinavianActuarial Journal, 2015(8),(ebi)-(ebi). &lthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03461238.2014.967449&gt

Falcone, P. (2009). 96 great interview questions to ask before youhire. New York: American Management Association.

Hopke, W. E. (1967). The encyclopedia of careers and vocationalguidance. Chicago: J.G. Ferguson.

Ferguson Publishing. (2009). Careers in focus. New York:Ferguson.

Lakoff, A. (2015). Real-time biopolitics: theactuary and the sentinel in global public health. EconomyAnd Society, 44(1),40-59. &lthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03085147.2014.983833&gt

Singer, T. (2011). Actuary of the Cell. SciAm, 305(4),84-87. &lthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1011-84&gt

Szabo, F. (2012). Actuaries` survival guide: How to succeed in oneof the most desirable professions. Place of publication notidentified: Academic Press.

O*NET &lt http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2011.00&gt

United States., bureau of Labour and Statistics &amp United States,Department of Labour (2008). Outlook Handbook, 2009. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

Wüthrich, M., Bühlmann, H., &amp Furrer,H. (2008). Market-consistentactuarial valuation. Berlin:Springer.

Yener, H. (2015).Corrigendum. ScandinavianActuarial Journal,1-3. &lthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03461238.2015.1021614&gt