Actuary - A specialist in the mathematics of insurance who calculates rates, reserves, dividends and other statistics. While sometimes the term is used loosely, the title Actuary really belongs to those who meet the requirements of one of the Actuarial Societies, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), for Property and Casualty Insurance, or the Society of Actuaries (SOA), for Life and Health Insurance. To qualify for membership in these associations, the individual must pass a number of extremely difficult technical mathematical examinations. Because of the rigorous requirements for membership, Actuaries, are very much in demand in the insurance industry and command very high salaries. Actuaries are the analytical backbone of our society's financial security programs. They are the brains behind the financial safeguards we have implemented in our personal lives, so we can go about our daily lives without worrying too much about what the future may hold for us. These are the safeguards that protect us from life's catastrophes. The insight into risk that actuaries have also helps to ensure that our savings are working hard for us, so that everything we love and cherish can grow and flourish. The work of actuaries benefits all of us. "ACTUARY" is a mysterious occupation. Someone once said that an actuary is a guy who, if he enters a revolving door behind you, comes out ahead of you. That's only a joke but it indicates the level of intelligence associated with these professionals. Why is a career as an actuary so satisfying? If you choose an actuarial career you can expect the following: Diverse and varied work. Actuarial skills are in demand in many financial sectors from insurance, pensions and benefits, investment and asset management, to banking, healthcare and the management of large scale capital projects. Working as part of a team or on your own, your role can be limitless, from consultant to analyst to troubleshooter to risk assessor - all in the same day. Influential role. Actuaries often work closely with senior figures from other professions or organisations. Their specialist training and unique skills mean they are behind many high level strategic decisions made by financial service companies and governments. Professionalism. Actuaries are personally responsible for upholding the highest professional standards. The nature of the job demands that actuaries combine good business sense with safeguarding the public's financial interests. Intellectual satisfaction. Actuaries are problem solvers. They use their training to analyse and interpret data, create models of the future to assess risks and estimate outcomes. Then they communicate these often complex facts, ideas and recommendations to people from a wide range of backgrounds. A good work-life balance. With variety comes flexibility, allowing you to balance professional commitments with personal ambitions. Plus opportunities to work part-time, abroad, or from home means you can adapt your work pattern to suit your changing lifestyle. Well paid. Responsibility can come early as you progress through the examinations. With responsibility comes reward. Salaries and benefits packages are excellent - even for those starting out in their career. In fact, it's one of the highest paid professions wherever you go in the world. Whilst studying to qualify as an actuary, your salary also increases significantly, reflecting your achievement. Check out salaries page for typical salaries for new entrants to the profession. An actuary is a specialist mathematician who calculates premiums for insurance companies.
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