Actuary How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions
An actuary is someone who is essentially the eyes, ears, brains, and foreshadower of a business. It is their job to assess and analyze business data, markets, historical market catastrophes, financial theories, and more in order to steer a business in the right direction for potential growth. They are paramount to helping a business avoid pitfalls and continue on a growth trajectory.
Actuaries deal constantly with risk, and they need to be extremely knowledgeable with the market that they’re working in. Because this is a risk position, it often requires a lot of experience. The ideal candidate for becoming an actuary will be level-headed, strong-willed, and willing to take risks that are calculated.
Sample job description #1
ABC Company is seeking a self-motivated and creative individual with a strong desire to work with Product Management and other teams to bring statistical rigor and analysis into everyday processes. The ideal candidate will have a strong business sense and a proven track record of generating new ideas across an organization and implementing those into current operations.
The individual in this position supports the Actuarial Manager and team by identifying business issues, performing analysis to understand the drivers of the issues, and making recommendations to improve overall business results. This includes performing analysis within a designated business segment to assess reserves and profitability of the segment as well as financial planning.
Conduct indications analysis, working with Product Managers to assess and forecast impacts of product, market, and economic changes on profitability and rate need
Collaborate with Finance and Product to forecast premiums and losses, assessing the expected variability in those forecasts
Conduct reserving analysis, using both traditional and non-traditional methods, develop new methods and incorporate them as warranted
Model weather events, economic changes and/or business mix changes, and their impact on reserves and rate need
Estimate the impact of claim practices and business mix changes on reserves and reserve variability, develop and analyze key metrics and exhibits to facilitate this estimation
Effectively communicate results of analysis to peers and senior management across the organization, both in writing and in presentations
Maintain an external network within the insurance industry to track emerging trends and approaches to business issues
Provide supervision and training to actuarial interns and junior staff
Serve as a mentor to other department members on aspects of project work, insurance, and general business knowledge
FCAS or near-FCAS with recent success at passing exams and desire to achieve FCAS
4-6+ years of work experience in analyzing P&C insurance with practical application of statistical techniques and models
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, allowing effective interaction with colleagues and executives
Excellent statistical, programming, and data management skills
Strong project management skills to carry ideas through to completion
Sample job description #2
Duties and responsibilities
Apply advanced actuarial techniques across all tasks
Assist management to maintain pricing discipline appropriate to meet company goals and assure pricing fairness across membership
Develop and maintain various actuarial/financial models and excel spreadsheets to adequately complete analyses
Coordinate with external actuary and auditing firms for interim and annual actuarial information
Maintain appropriate participation in industry groups to keep abreast of changes in law and maintain appropriate external relationships
Assist management to develop annual production goals
Provide claims and profitability history, perspective and analysis to reinsurers, auditors, actuaries, and other professionals as required
Provide management with regular statistical information and reports concerning the company’s performance
Understand and comply with all company policies and procedures
Complete in-depth review of actuarial reserve report underlying the company reserve opinion
Work with management to understand material case reserve changes
Communicate results to management
Work with management on reinsurance renewal process
Work with Data Analyst to develop and maintain actuarial, profitability, and other reports as needed throughout the company
Skills and abilities
Ability to apply sound actuarial principles and maintain actuarial qualifications in compliance with regulations
Ability to apply practical information learned about the practices of the company to actuarial analysis and recommendations
Ability to clearly provide support for analyses and reasoned rationales for recommendations to management
Strong organizational skills
Capacity to manage multiple tasks in response to both written and verbal requests
High level of diplomacy and tact, combined with a strong sense of confidentiality
Strong verbal and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise program documentation, user procedures, reports of work performed, and other written materials
Strategic thinker able to provide leadership about practical applications of current trends in information technology, computer hardware, and software capabilities and limitations
Strong listener, who translates user needs into operational applications
Competent ability to request and analyze relevant data and recommend tactical and strategic action
Team player with ability to motivate and positively engage colleagues and management
Able to address trends in information technology, computer hardware, and software capabilities and limitations
Expert knowledge of principles and practices of commercial insurance actuarial science
Expertise in Microsoft WORD, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook
A power user of Excel. Preferable to have some expertise in VBA
Working knowledge of SQL and relational databases and is proficient at working with large data sets
5 years multi-line actuarial experience
Prior experience working at a senior leadership level reporting to a CFO strongly preferred
A.S. or B.S. degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Actuarial Science, or related field
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for an actuary is $108,000 per year in the United States. Compensation will vary based on experience, geography, industry, and company size.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
What caused you to apply for this job?
What skills would you say are the most important as an actuary?
What does your daily routine look like?
What do you enjoy most about being an actuary?
Which statistical software have you used in the past? Which one do you enjoy using the most?
Can you tell us what an actuarial table is? Why are they useful?
How do you keep up to date on business trends?
Can you tell us about a time when you had a major challenge? And how did you solve it?
What keeps you motivated?
What would you say is your greatest strength? What about your weakness?
Would you say you are a team player?
Do you have any certifications that are applicable to an actuary?
Why should we hire you instead of the other candidates?
We match top professionals with great employers across the country. Your next career move or star employee is just around the corner. Review our career content and advice, browse our latest job openings, or email us your resume. We look forward to connecting with you soon!