Job description: Assembles and analyzes facts, and estimates risks and returns to make financial planning decisions in a specific area of expertise. Employed mostly in the insurance industry, but increasingly in government, education, finance and health care.
Salary range: $34,000 to over $100,000 and is commensurate with each exam.
Training: A bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, business, mathematics or statistics. Interpersonal and communication skills a must. Completion of all exams takes five to 10 years.
“I enjoyed math and didn’t want to be an engineer and wasn’t sure about teaching,” says Roosevelt Mosley, who earned a dual degree in actuarial science and statistics from the University of Michigan in 1993. After college, he joined State Farm in Bloomington, Illinois, where he is now a senior assistant actuary. His job is to estimate risk and determine premiums for auto insurers in Florida, West Virginia and Georgia.
Throughout their careers, actuaries must take exams that can require up to five months of study. Since his senior year in college, Mosley, 25, has passed seven of the 10 four-hour exams needed to become an associate member of the Casualty Actuarial Society. To become a fellow, he will take three more over the next two years. Practitioners such as Mosley say the career offers a high level of satisfaction and challenge, where creative thinking and problem-solving skills are key.
For more information, contact the Casualty Actuarial Society at 703-276- 3100, or the International Association of Black Actuaries at 313-556- 1643.