Actuaries are risk management professionals that frequently work in the insurance industry, corporate finance, or for consulting firms. They use statistical analysis and modeling to understand potential financial risks and liabilities associated with different business choices or transactions.
If you’re looking to hire an Actuary for your organization, take a look at the sample Actuary job description below to learn about the role’s key responsibilities and education requirements for the role. This sample description can be used as a template for Actuary job postings. You can also explore some useful questions to ask Actuary candidates during job interviews.
What is an Actuary?
Actuaries, sometimes called Actuarial Analysts, are professionals that use math, statistics, and financial theory to analyze the potential risks and costs of business decisions. Many actuaries work as insurance actuaries to analyze the financial risks of health insurance policies, life insurance policies, property insurance policies, and more to help insurance companies set premiums for these policies.
Sample Actuary job description
The Actuary will compile and analyze data to project the potential financial risks of different insurance policies or business activities. The ideal candidate has prior actuarial experience through internships or full-time employment. We are looking for someone with exemplary organizational and analytical skills that can manage frequent deadlines.
Collect and analyze statistical data to understand the potential risk of a specific business activity.
Prepare and present completed reports to clients, leaders, and stakeholders.
Design and administer policies to minimize potential risks and liabilities.
Verify data sources and identify new sources of data.
Collaborate with internal and external staff and leaders including accountants, finance managers, and more.
Bachelor’s degree in accounting, computer science, or a related field.
Strong analytical skills and problem-solving abilities.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or Society of Actuaries (SOA) certification.
Two or more years of work experience in a related role.
Strong computer skills with experience in statistical modeling tools and Microsoft Excel.
Ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Actuary job interview questions
Here are some helpful questions to ask when interviewing job seekers for an Actuary role.
What was the most challenging actuarial project that you’ve worked on?
This question is a great way to learn more about the candidates’ experience and skills. Dig into what the project was, how they completed it, why they found it challenging, and what they learned from the process. This is a helpful way to see how the candidate handles a tough project.
What actuarial exams have you passed? Do you plan on taking any more in the future?
Many Actuaries choose to take actuarial exams to earn different credentials. If you’re hiring for an entry-level position they may not have taken any exams yet, but it can be helpful to know if they are currently studying for any exams or have future plans to take them as this shows initiative and a commitment to ongoing professional development.
The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) offers a series of exams that actuarial candidates must complete to earn Associate (ACAS) or Fellow (FCAS) designations. The ACAS credentialing process is a five-step process with four exams and a professionalism course. Three additional exams are required to earn the FCAS designation.
The Society of Actuaries also offers exams and certifications. The credentials offered include the Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) credential that verifies that the candidate understands the fundamental concepts and techniques related to risk modeling and management. They also offer a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) credential geared towards risk management for enterprise organizations and a Fellow of the Associate of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) which demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the application of mathematical models to various areas of actuarial science.
Understanding what exams the candidate has taken can help you understand their current knowledge areas and get a clearer picture of where they are in their actuarial career journey. Many employers do require CAS or SOA credentials.
Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma at work? How did you approach that situation?
If the candidate answers that they have not encountered an ethical dilemma in their prior roles, ask them to explain how they would approach an ethical dilemma if they encountered one in the future. Consider providing scenarios such as they found out that a coworker had a conflict of interest and didn’t disclose it or that they learned that facts were being misrepresented.
Actuaries handle sensitive data and make recommendations that can impact end customers significantly. They need to base their findings on the data rather than personal opinions or pressure from clients or management. They also need to disclose conflicts of interest where applicable.
What actuarial software are you familiar with?
Actuaries need to have strong computer skills, as most actuaries use a variety of software tools. Common actuarial software programs include Moses and Prophet. Many actuaries also know different programming languages such as Python or SQL.
How do you stay current on actuarial laws and relevant regulations?
Actuarial science is a heavily regulated industry due to the amount of sensitive data that they work with. Many actuaries work in healthcare, insurance, or finance which have their own regulations concerning data handling and other key processes.
Staying up-to-date with relevant laws or regulations is important. Some ways that they may do this include subscribing to professional newsletters, attending regular trainings each year, or being part of an actuarial professional network like SOA or CAS that provides updates.
How do you go about explaining your findings to someone that is not familiar with actuarial reports?
One major challenge that Actuaries commonly face is explaining their findings to managers, peers, or clients that don’t have a background in actuarial science. Actuaries need to have advanced technical and analytical skills, but they also need great communication skills to properly convey their findings to audiences that do not have a strong STEM background or may not know actuarial terminology. An experienced actuary should know how to break down complex reports into more digestible insights that they can explain in relatively simple terms.
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