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What is an Actuary?

An actuary is a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries use mathematics, statistics and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. They evaluate the likelihood of those events, design creative ways to reduce the likelihood and decrease the impact of adverse events that actually do occur.

Actuaries are an important part of the management team of the companies that employ them. Their work requires a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behavior to design and manage programs that control risk.

SOA members work in life insurance, retirement systems, health benefit systems, financial and investment management and other emerging areas of practice. The majority of actuaries work within the insurance industry, although a growing number of actuaries work in other fields.