Actuaries are professionals who help businesses to assess the risk of certain events occurring. About six out of 10 actuaries are employed in the insurance industry. Actuaries assemble and analyze data to estimate the probability and likely cost of the occurrence of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability or loss of property. It is consistently one of the most secure and highest-paying professions available, even during tough economic times. Annual starting salaries for graduates with a bachelor degree in actuarial science and with 1-2 passed exams are around $50,000.
Jobs Rated Almanac and Money Magazine have consistently rated “actuary” among top jobs based upon its satisfaction, salary and likelihood to remain in high demand for years to come. Of 200 professions ranked by Careercast.com, the job of actuary was rated No. 1 in a 2013 survey of the following factors: work environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress.
- Biomedical Engineer
- Software Engineer
- Financial Planner
Jobs in actuarial science include:
- Corporate and consulting services, especially management and public relations
- Security/commodity brokers
- Government programs like Social Security and Medicare
- Insurance companies
For the undergraduate degree, students must take 120 hours to graduate, 42 hours from the University’s Core Curriculum and 66 hours in the major, plus elective requirements, where students can tailor their learning experience more closely to their interests.
High school preparation
Strong math skills and an interest in math ensure a solid foundation for your career as an actuary. Students need a healthy interest in finance and economics. Computer proficiency and good communication skills will help you to start your actuarial career.
Training and Advancement
Actuaries achieve their full professional status by passing a series of actuarial examinations sponsored by The Society of Actuaries (SOA) and The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The first four exams in the SOA and CAS examination series are jointly sponsored and test an individual’s competence in probability, statistics, finance and actuarial science. Those who pass one or two exams have better opportunities for employment at higher starting salaries than those who do not.
Actuarial science students at UT Dallas enjoy the benefit of applying for summer internships at many of the Dallas area’s leading insurance and consulting companies.
Degree program classes that will help prepare for Actuarial Exams:
- Exam 1: STAT 4351 and ACTS 4306
- Exam 2: BA 3341, BA 4346 and ACTS 4308
- Exam 3: ACTS 4301 and ACTS 4302
- Exam 4: ACTS 4304
- Updated: May 9, 2013