Ask ten actuaries why they chose to become an actuary, and you will get ten different answers, but one theme will emerge from every response: Smart Work. Actuarial work is interdisciplinary at its core. Practicing actuaries draw upon mathematics, statistics, economics, finance, risk management, computer science, and much more to solve problems from how much insurance costs to complicated investment hedging.
Whether you are going to be a Life Actuary or Property and Casualty Actuary, you will be engaged in creative problem solving and critical thinking on a daily basis.
The actuarial exams will provide you with a financial problem-solving toolkit. However, since the issues actuaries have to tackle are rarely by-the-book, their analytic, mathematical, and intellectual abilities are being constantly stretched, tested, and honed.
The typical day of an actuary is anything but typical. Actuaries, especially consulting actuaries, work in an environment of constantly shifting priorities. The field is dynamic because it is influenced by outside forces such as current economic conditions (whether recession or growth), energy costs, legislation, judicial decisions, and technological innovations. No two days are ever the same.
As an actuary you will be faced with countless problems with countless solutions. It will be your job to reach into your toolkit, apply your creative problem solving abilities, and find the best solution.
Taken as a whole, the technical and intellectual challenges, coupled with a constantly varying work environment, make the actuarial profession one of the highest rated careers based on job satisfaction and compensation. The job of an actuary is one of the most unique in the business world and for those who love to learn something new everyday. Actuarial work is smart, challenging, and creative.
Article written in May 2011 by Jacob Galecki. Jacob is a recruiter specializing in the recruitment of actuarial professionals, the founder of Galecki Search Associates, and a former actuarial analyst.