How to be an actuary

An actuary determines the probability of risks and uncertainties based on statistical models and the professional judgment, and this profession has been one of the hottest career choices for the last several years. Thanks to many surveys and articles, this profession continues to be ranked one of the most rewarding and low-stress career. This article will highlight some important steps to be an actuary.

Majority of entry-level actuarial positions require at least a bachelor degree in statistics related field. A common misconception is that an Actuarial Science degree is required in order to get into the profession. This is not correct and there are many candidates have successfully landed an entry level position without an Actuarial Science degree. The hiring managers would like to see your interest in this profession. The first and the best way to show the hiring manager your desire is to pass at least one actuarial exam. My first action item for you today is to start studying for an actuarial exam if you have not passed any.

If you are still in college, it would be wise to get an actuarial internship. This is another way to your future employers your real interest in this field. In addition to the number of exams you passed, related internship experience will be very helpful to set yourself apart from other candidates. If you are not able to secure an actuarial internship, work experience in insurance industry or even any financial institutions can also help. Getting actuarial-related experience is as important as passing any actuarial exams when it comes to landing an interview.

Finally, what if you are career changer who would like to switch to the actuarial industry? You are still advised to pass one or two actuarial exams to prove you can juggle between work, personal responsibilities, and studies. You should try to reach out to the actuarial association in your college or your alumni network to get introduced to someone currently working in the actuarial profession or at your target companies who can introduce you to the recruiters. One very important advice to career changers is that the actuarial profession requires a lengthy exam process which can take more than 5-10 years depending on your exam progress, so it’s important to take a few actuarial exams and find out your capability of passing the remaining actuarial exams. Changing career is risky, but calculated risk can be rewarding.