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 5 years ago '10        #1
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Swiph Mix 14 heat pts14
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The Best Job you never thought of...
 

 
visit this link http://money.cnn.com/2013 .. ary/index.html

image

Actuary consistently ranks among the top jobs in the United States. Do you know what they do?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

One of the best jobs in America often flies under the radar.

It's in high demand, can pay six-figures a year, and your employer often foots the bill for on-the-job training. No grad school required!

It's an actuary, and for the past several years, it's been highly ranked as one of the best jobs in America on various lists, the most recent of which was compiled by CareerCast.

Despite all the good publicity, I can tell you from personal experience that most people still don't have an inkling what an actuary does.

My husband is an actuary, and when I introduce him to others as such, blank stares are common. Occasionally someone may say, "Oh, like the Ben Stiller character in Along Came Polly?"

The next inevitable question: "Can he predict when I'll die?"

So what is an actuary?

The job entails using statistics to estimate risks, usually for insurance companies. Actuaries set prices for insurance contracts and advise insurance companies just how much money they should set aside to pay out for future claims. They can also design pension and healthcare plans.

For example, an actuary may try to predict how much money an insurance company would have to pay out to cover damage from future hurricanes.

Insurance companies and insurance-related consulting firms are their largest employers, but actuaries are also scattered throughout academia and the government (they're crucial in the Social Security Administration, for example).

It's still a relatively small occupation, employing about 22,000 people in the United States, but it's expected to grow quickly. (By comparison, there are about 190,000 accountants in the country.)

The Labor Department forecasts the actuarial field will grow 27% between 2010 and 2020, adding 5,800 jobs during that decade. That's more new jobs than are expected from the economist, statistician and mathematician occupations combined.

That said, it's not an easy job to land, and it's certainly not the best fit for everybody.
The key to becoming a full-fledged actuary lies in passing an intense series of seven to nine exams, which can take between six to eight years to complete.

The good news is that employers often pay for the studies. Employers will often hire math, statistics or business majors with starting salaries around $45,000 to $50,000 a year, and then give them paid time off to study and take their exams, said Tom Miller, principal of Pinnacle Group Actuarial Recruiting.

Related: Top-paying jobs

Usually the salary increases with each passed exam. By the time all the exams are completed, the salary could have doubled, to around $90,000 a year, plus a bonus, Miller said.

The exams are notoriously difficult, and even among these math whizzes, it's not uncommon to fail one or two.

"These are people who have probably never failed an exam in their lives. They've gotten straight A's their whole life, and the failure rates can run as high as 60% on these exams. It's very, very challenging," Miller said.

Just go to a bar with a young actuary, and all they'll talk about is studying. The standard practice is to study 300 to 400 hours per exam.

If you can pass all the exams, the job is considered high paying and secure. One study, by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, finds that actuarial science graduates had a near-zero unemployment rate in 2010.

"It's a great job and one of the reasons why is the stability of the profession. Demand is greater than supply, and it's been that way for 30-plus years. There's no expectation that will change," Miller said.

The few occupational hazards entail sometimes working 10-hour days, and of course, the occasional jokes about being a math nerd.

As an accountant put it to me last month -- "an actuary is someone who wanted to be an accountant, but didn't have the personality for it."

Actuaries often like to tell it the other way around.



7 to 9 exams for 6 to 8 years?!?! imageimage

21 comments for "The Best Job you never thought of..."

 5 years ago '05        #2
Greece 8 heat pts
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So much studying for thus profession.
 5 years ago '12        #3
CM Punk 112 heat pts112
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those exams
 5 years ago '10        #4
SwooshWonder 13 heat pts13
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Boring as hell
 04-25-2013, 10:09 PM         #5
Drone 
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Your kidding right?

5 exams that costs hundreds of dollars.
Extremely hard exams that are on par with the CPA exam
100 of hours of studies for one exam
Exam can only be done twice a year
Fail an exam and its still expensive to retake it
To be an actuary it takes on average about 6 years to get the designation and thats usually after university
Long hours of work, often time overtime work

Theres a reason why there is so few supply, because you can can get years of experience working on your new career fresh out of university, instead of studying for the exams. Not to mention the pay is nothing to be crazy about considering the years wasted on studying.

My buddy who is 25 right now, redid his third exam twice now and said he might be reconsidering taking this sh*t.


Last edited by Drone; 04-25-2013 at 10:14 PM..
 5 years ago '11        #6
ajymerced 
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sounds like a good job. I'm majoring in accounting, so maybe its something I can pursue. what are the pre reqs?
 5 years ago '04        #7
torious 69 heat pts69
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 sm00vb0iiw0nder said:
Boring as hell
 5 years ago '10        #8
Account001 
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If your not extremely gifted in math dont get happy... and if you are extremely gifted in math go into finance the pay can be much better. The finance game is almost like the rap game, you got folks making 60k then you got some make 1.3 mil. sh*t crazy
 5 years ago '06        #9
Rique 65 heat pts65
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lollllll do people know how hard actuary exams are? Good luck passing those exams

Ive only got my series 6,7,63 and make bank these test are way easier than an actuary exam too
 04-26-2013, 02:43 PM         #10
eouia 
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yeah, i'm here for that sh*t!

[video - click to view]

 5 years ago '06        #11
Down-N-H-Town 6 heat pts
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 Rique said:
lollllll do people know how hard actuary exams are? Good luck passing those exams

Ive only got my series 6,7,63 and make bank these test are way easier than an actuary exam too
Yeah my girl only has one of those series, I forgot which one, but it took her forever to study. She failed her other one that she had to take.
 04-26-2013, 02:53 PM         #12
TimmyGee 
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My ex majoring in this sh*t..
bi*ch was smart as fu*k too..
I fu*ked up
 5 years ago '05        #13
Hold That 104 heat pts104
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I wouldn't want a job where I'd have to put a "price" on someones life.. Who am I to determine how much a company should pay to keep someone alive(from a business standpoint I understand it needs to be done).. Mentally I don't think I'd be able to handle that.. A file comes across my desk of someone who has cancer, and I say we shouldn't cover it.. I mean you got to be a cold motherfu*ker too do that on a daily basis.
 5 years ago '11        #14
whothebestmc 99 heat pts99
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 #TheReturn said:
[B/]I wouldn't want a job where I'd have to put a "price" on someones life..[/B] Mentally I don't think I'd be able to handle that..
so basically you ain't bout that life
 5 years ago '06        #15
Rique 65 heat pts65
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 Down-N-H-Town said:
Yeah my girl only has one of those series, I forgot which one, but it took her forever to study. She failed her other one that she had to take.
Depends where you work my job had us work half the day then study the other half of the day and hired professors to teach us the material it was extremely easy for me. She probably failed one of the 60's they are harder than the 6 and 7
 5 years ago '04        #16
youngen 
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Terrible article

First and foremost, yes it is one of the best jobs in north America.
However the description that the article gave of this job is awful.


This job is for people who are extremely good in math. The comment at the end saying "an actuary is someone who wanted to be an accountant, but didn't have the personality for it." is the most inaccurate description ever, not to mention it is down right insulting being that accounting at any level is beyond elementary for any actuary. No wonder an accountant was sourced as making that unbelievable comment.

Accountants, contrary to popular belief, dont actually have to be good in math. They just have to be comfortable with numbers. Theres a HUGE difference. Accountants need to remember ways of solving for certain values, but in almost all cases it is basic math (BEDMAS math). Actuaries on the other hand are math and statistic gurus. They are experts in quantitative modeling. And since personality was brought up, accountants are generally boring being that the jobs are outrageously depressing (CAs have a top5 suicide rate after dentistry)
 5 years ago '10        #17
ColeWorld 42 heat pts42
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 youngen said:
Terrible article

First and foremost, yes it is one of the best jobs in north America.
However the description that the article gave of this job is awful.


This job is for people who are extremely good in math. The comment at the end saying "an actuary is someone who wanted to be an accountant, but didn't have the personality for it." is the most inaccurate description ever, not to mention it is down right insulting being that accounting at any level is beyond elementary for any actuary. No wonder an accountant was sourced as making that unbelievable comment.

Accountants, contrary to popular belief, dont actually have to be good in math. They just have to be comfortable with numbers. Theres a HUGE difference. Accountants need to remember ways of solving for certain values, but in almost all cases it is basic math (BEDMAS math). Actuaries on the other hand are math and statistic gurus. They are experts in quantitative modeling. And since personality was brought up, accountants are generally boring being that the jobs are outrageously depressing (CAs have a top5 suicide rate after dentistry)

Accounting is boring as sh*t about to change my major to something else
 5 years ago '04        #18
youngen 
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 #TheReturn said:
I wouldn't want a job where I'd have to put a "price" on someones life.. Who am I to determine how much a company should pay to keep someone alive(from a business standpoint I understand it needs to be done).. Mentally I don't think I'd be able to handle that.. A file comes across my desk of someone who has cancer, and I say we shouldn't cover it.. I mean you got to be a cold motherfu*ker too do that on a daily basis.
Actuaries deal with risk management in all aspects, not just in insurance. For example, banks and various wall street companies are big employers of actuaries, including Hedge funds. Its not about "putting a price on someones life". Its about understanding cash flows and decreasing business risk, which is applicable everywhere.

Also the term "insurance" is vaguely defined here as life insurance. But insurance can be anything. It can be investor insurance, or even Reinsurance (which is insurance on insurance). The insurance industry is very broad, and Actuaries are in demand at all sectors. So if life insurance isnt your thing, who cares? Do you like the stock market? You can be an actuary there too.
 5 years ago '05        #19
Shazam 33 heat pts33
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 youngen said:
Terrible article

First and foremost, yes it is one of the best jobs in north America.
However the description that the article gave of this job is awful.


This job is for people who are extremely good in math. The comment at the end saying "an actuary is someone who wanted to be an accountant, but didn't have the personality for it." is the most inaccurate description ever, not to mention it is down right insulting being that accounting at any level is beyond elementary for any actuary. No wonder an accountant was sourced as making that unbelievable comment.

Accountants, contrary to popular belief, dont actually have to be good in math. They just have to be comfortable with numbers. Theres a HUGE difference. Accountants need to remember ways of solving for certain values, but in almost all cases it is basic math (BEDMAS math). Actuaries on the other hand are math and statistic gurus. They are experts in quantitative modeling. And since personality was brought up, accountants are generally boring being that the jobs are outrageously depressing (CAs have a top5 suicide rate after dentistry)
You're definitely right, about the math level that actuaries are on vs. accountants. I met a kid who was an undergrad math major and worked as an actuary before coming back to school to get his Masters in Accounting degree. He was one of the hardest workers in the program and was on a different level in mathematical competence compared to most other kids in the program. But he walked away from pursuing a career as an actuary because he got to the third exam and was just like this is too ridiculous and way too much. Someone above was trying to say that actuary exams are just as difficult as the CPA exams just more of them. That's incorrect, these series of exams are much more difficult than the CPA exams. Dude who was an actuary wa saying that getting through all of them is basically equivalent to getting a math PhD.

But also posters above pointed out it doesn't make any sense to become an actuary based on the amount of time and effort it takes to become an actuary vs the salary they make. That's one of the reasons why this kid came back to get a M.Acc. degree, if you go to a Big 4 firm you'll already probably on a better/similar salary trajectory than actuaries. Even with a regional firm you're still on a similar salary trajectory as an actuary. And it takes a whole lot less effort to become an accountant.

Also if you're so good at math that you're able to pass all the actuarial exams, you probably could've been making way more money if you had devoted your time to breaking into fields in computer science or finance. So basically it doesn't make sense from an economic/salary perspective for anyone to become an actuary.


Last edited by Shazam; 04-27-2013 at 11:25 AM..
 5 years ago '04        #20
rikedizzle 
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took the first test, had some personal sh*t happen leading up to it so i wasn't prepared and still took it like i'll just see what's up and failed. i personally dont think it was that hard, just wasnt fully prepared. seeing where opportunities lead now in my bank before i get back on the actuarial track
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