Actuarial Analyst Job Description
Actuarial analysts use statistical modeling and risk management strategies to develop financial projections, cost-benefit analyses, and insurance plans. They can work in a variety of industries but are mainly employed in the financial services and insurance sectors. This is a highly analytical role, requiring a great deal of data assessment and a keen understanding of probability and risk mitigation.
In both insurance and financial services organizations, actuarial analysts are responsible for compiling large volumes of data and utilizing specialized financial projection and statistical modeling software to prepare reports and contribute to an organization’s financial stability by informing business leaders of financial risks and long-term projections.
Actuarial Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
Whether in the financial or insurance sectors, actuarial analysts perform the following core tasks:
Compile Actuarial Data
In both financial services and insurance organizations, actuarial analysts are responsible for compiling data from a wide variety of sources. For insurance companies, an actuarial analyst may gather information from sickness and mortality tables to determine the risks associated with individuals or businesses insured by the company, while a financial services actuarial analyst may compile market data and projections related to pension plans and securities. The actuarial analyst frequently needs to make judgments related to the accuracy and quality of the data.
Conduct Data Analysis
An actuarial analyst is also responsible for assessing data and deriving insights from their analysis. They may build statistical models and work with the data they have compiled to determine financial predictions, conduct cost-benefit analyses, or develop risk projections based on a variety of factors. This aspect of the role requires both attention to detail and extensive familiarity with data analysis tools and methods. An actuarial analyst also looks for errors or irregularities while analyzing data.
Prepare Reports and Projections
Another duty of an actuarial analyst is to prepare reports and projections for insurance plans and financial products. They may develop charts and graphs detailing these projections, write detailed reports outlining potential sources of risk and financial uncertainty, and present several options for mitigating risk and ensuring profitability based on the data they have collected and analyzed.
Present Findings to Management
Many actuarial analysts are also tasked with presenting their data and analysis directly to decision-makers within an organization. They may consult directly with executive leadership and management personnel to answer questions about a particular forecast or model. Some actuarial analysts may also make recommendations to company leadership and provide advice on various options and scenarios.
Consult with Clients
While most actuarial analysts work within larger organizations and teams, many work on a consulting basis. These actuarial analysts meet directly with clients to gather data and analyze information. Actuarial analysts within larger organizations may also play a role in client consultations by meeting directly with individuals and business representatives to gain a better sense of financial goals and projections, which aids in data modeling and risk assessment.
Actuarial Analyst Skills and Qualifications
Actuarial analysts need to be highly analytical and possess excellent data management and assessment skills. Most companies hire applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, along with the following skills:
- Statistical Modeling – A background working with probability and statistics is vital in this role since an actuarial analyst frequently needs to use data to develop forecasts and financial projections
- Mathematical Analysis – An actuarial analyst also needs to have a high level of skill in mathematics, probability, and statistics. This aids in creating financial forecasts and risk assessments
- Data Literacy – Because so much of this role involves compiling and analyzing data, actuarial analysts need a high level of data literacy, particularly to determine the accuracy and value of large data sets
- Financial Forecasting – Knowledge of financial investing and the impact of risk on investing and profitability is also important in this role, in both insurance and financial services fields
- Communication and Presentation – Actuarial analysts frequently collaborate with underwriters and managers to develop insurance plans and investment portfolios. In this role, effectively communicating and presenting findings is a necessity
Tools of the Trade
Actuarial analysts typically work in office settings, so they need to be comfortable using standard office equipment and programs in addition to the following:
- Statistical Modeling Software – (MATLAB, Tableau)
- Database Software – (Excel, Microsoft Access)
Actuarial Analyst Education and Training
Actuarial analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as actuarial science. In addition, actuarial analysts need to be certified by the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries. Both of these organizations require applicants to have completed college-level coursework in economics, finance, and statistics. Many actuarial analysts work in this role while working toward full certification.
Actuarial Analyst Salary and Outlook
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have specific salary data for actuarial analysts, Glassdoor and PayScale have gathered pay data from 2,739 and 1,052 employees in this role, respectively. Glassdoor estimates an average annual salary of $74,243 for actuarial analysts, while PayScale states a median annual wage of $62,210.
The actuarial field is expected to grow at a rapid pace, with the BLS projecting employment growth of 22 percent from 2016 to 2026.
If you’re interested in learning more about working as an actuarial analyst, check out the following books and resources:
Casualty Actuarial Society – The Casualty Actuarial Society’s homepage offers an online community and information on exams as well as resources and information about professional development.
Introduction to Actuarial Science – This extensive guide by Harry Anson Finney provides an overview of the principles and practices of actuarial science.
Society of Actuaries – Visit the website of the Society of Actuaries to find helpful articles and learn more about exams, membership, and opportunities for career growth.
Actuarial Science: An Elementary Manual – Read about the basics of actuarial analysis and data compilation in this classic textbook for actuaries by Glen Ninian.
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