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  • December 2016
  • 5 minutes

Actuary, the Job of the Future: Why we need to promote careers in actuarial science

  • Kathleen Broom
  • Sarah Weller
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In Brief
Four reasons actuarial careers are exciting:  
  • Big data 
  • Shifting demographics 
  • Regulatory change 
  • Increasing innovation

Sound good? We think so, but as actuaries ourselves, we’re a little biased toward our chosen profession. So don’t take our word for it:

  • Being an actuary consistently ranks among today’s top jobs in employment surveys. In fact, in 2015 listed actuary as the best job in America based on work environment (includes physical and emotional demands), income, stress, and hiring outlook. has ranked it in the top ten for 10 years running.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that actuarial jobs will grow at a rapid 18% between 2014 and 2024.
  • Actuaries consistently rank high in median annual salary for professions: the BLS puts the median annual salary of actuaries at $97,070 (2015).

The future looks bright for actuaries (and we should know – it’s our job to see what’s coming). Trends within the insurance industry and throughout society point to an increasing need for actuarial expertise:

  • Big data – With an avalanche of new information, the need to make sense of it and create predictive models is paramount.
  • Shifting demographics – The aging of baby boomers and the emergence of millennials are transforming our societal makeup and driving the need to anticipate new demands.
  • Regulatory change – From Dodd-Frank to Solvency II, companies navigating increased scrutiny and the associated implications will keep actuaries gainfully employed for years to come.
  • Increasing innovation – What will be the next game-changing technology and what will it mean for us? Winners will be those who can calculate what is on the way.

So what can we do to promote our profession? Simple: Talk about it. So many actuaries were introduced to the profession by a cousin, a neighbor, a friend. As an example, the small town of Red Bud, Illinois (about an hour drive from our global headquarters in St. Louis) has produced a disproportionately high number of RGA actuaries. Why? Because a teacher at the local high school encouraged students to look into actuarial sciences.

Two years ago, RGA launched a program to promote actuarial science as a career choice among St. Louis-area high schoolers.  Twice a year, interested students come to our offices for a half-day session to learn about the profession and the steps to get there. We continue to build on our success and share what works with industry partners.

Becoming an actuary is not easy, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. But as the world evolves at a faster and faster pace, the need to have people trained to anticipate what’s coming becomes increasingly vital. Our future actuaries are out there; as a profession we need to help them find us. 

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Meet the Authors & Experts

Kathleen Broom
Assistant Actuary Pricing, RGA
Sarah Weller
Associate Actuary Pricing, U.S. Mortality Markets