What is an Actuary?

An actuary is a professional who handles the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. The field is actuarial science which is a discipline that uses mathematical and statistical methods to assess the financial risks in the insurance and finance fields. Actuaries' work is essential to the insurance industry. Actuarial exams are difficult and require intense preparation. For most people, it takes between 7 and 10 years to become a fully qualified actuary.

There are a variety of skill sets you need to succeed in the field of actuarial science. It takes a mix of analytical skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behavior to manage today's complex risks facing our society.

There are two organizations that support the actuarial industry: the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The primary difference is that they each support actuaries in different industries. The SOA focuses on actuaries that work in life, health, pensions and retirement. The CAS provides standards and regulations for actuaries that work in property and casualty (P&C) insurance.

Society of Actuaries (SOA)

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is a global organization that provides actuaries with professional development, education and exams, research, and a variety of other resources to promote the field of actuaries and the careers of its members. With roots going back to the 1800s, the Society of Actuaries boasts more than 31,000 members globally; the largest professional organization of its kind in the world.

Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)

Founded in 1914, the CAS is the world’s only actuarial organization focused exclusively on property and casualty risks and serves over 9,000 members worldwide. The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) is a leading international organization for credentialing and professional education. CAS members are experts in property and casualty insurance, reinsurance, finance, risk management and enterprise risk management. Professionals educated by the CAS empower businesses and government to make well-informed strategic, financial and operational decisions.

ACTEX Learning’s YouTube Channel

Check out ACTEX Learning’s YouTube Channel for information on Study Tips for taking Actuarial Exams, Career Advice, Interviews with Students and practicing Actuaries, and key topics you need to know about for the initial Exams P and FM.

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