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How do I become an actuary?

I want to major in statistics to become an actuary, but I don't know what steps to take to get towards that goal. #actuarial-science #actuary

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venkatesh’s Answer

First, ask yourself: "Is this the right career for me?" As with any career goal, you're not just planning how you'll make a living—you're setting the stage for how you'll live your life. So you'll want to be sure you have the skills you'll need to be successful—as well as an interest in some high-level math to live happy.
Second, find out what you can do right now. Once you're confident that a career as an actuary is something you can pretty much own, why wait? There are lots of things you could be doing while still in high school to develop your talents.
Third, start making big plans. Plan your college education by picking the right school, charting the right course, and dominating the curriculum! And don't forget to explore the scholarships that are available to help you achieve your goals.
And last, never stop challenging yourself. Keep your actuarial muscles in peak condition by taking some actuarial exams.
In order to work as an actuary, you must pass a series of actuarial exams. If you are able to pass the first exam, you'll know you have what it takes—and so will employers.

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Dana’s Answer

Another thing you may want to do is reach out to actuaries in your area. Ask for a coffee or lunch to meet with them to discuss 'a day in the life of' an actuary. Ideally, you'll get the chance to speak with those studying for their credentials and already credentialed actuaries who have been in the job for 10+ years. The actuarial experience and skill sets needed will vary over time.

You can go to the soa.org website, click on Advanced Search in the Actuarial Directory, type in cities near you. Additionally, you can reach out to local actuarial clubs for contacts to find out if they do any recruiting or outreach to those interested in becoming an actuary.

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Prash’s Answer

How to Become an Actuary


1: Start preparing for your career while you are still in high school. If you take the right combination of classes in high school, you’ll have a tremendous advantage when you start college.


Take the college preparatory program.
Take as many math classes as you can—every year.
Enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, especially courses in statistics and calculus.
Place a heavy emphasis on computer skills such as SQL, SAS, VBA, Excel, Access, and C++


2: Attend an actuarial summer program.[2] These programs will help you learn about your intended career and put you in touch with industry professionals.
3: Choose a college that has an actuarial science curriculum. It isn’t strictly necessary to attend a college with an actuarial curriculum; you can enjoy a solid career as an actuary if you have a strong background in math, statistics and finances. You will also need to pass 2 actuarial exams. Probably Exam P and FM since they are considered the easiest.
4: Complete the credentials process. After you graduate from college, you will have to complete the remainder of the actuarial exams, as well as e-Learning components and other requirements of the profession. Programs are offered by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)[3]and by the Society of Actuaries (SOA)[4]
5: Study independently. You can sign up for a free trial account in the fundamentals of actuarial practice[5] and get a full idea of what the profession requires. In fact, you can study actuarial science using this free program and attempt to take the actuarial exams without attending college, or before you graduate from college.
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Investigate available internships. An internship, paid or unpaid, will help you gain valuable on-the-job experience.[6]

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Jeff’s Answer

I would say first off, that even though it is a very good idea and will save you time down the road, you can always still adjust your career path further down the road. So if you are already a couple years into college, for example, and haven't started exams or anything in the field, there is still time. Having said that, I think the biggest step you can take is to make sure you take a lot of quantitative classes in college. In particular, I see any computer science, probability/statistics and business classes being the most useful in what I work do on a day to day basis. I then think it is helpful and a good idea to take an exam or two during college as well. Having a couple exams is pretty much a pre-requisite for an entry level job at this point. Even for internship opportunities, it would be very helpful to at least have one passed. For more background, there are multiple exams you will need to pass to gain credentials. Therefore companies want to make sure employees and interns are fully invested in completing these before hiring.

Jeff recommends the following next steps:

Enroll in appropriate courses
Start prepping for initial exam
Read and research more about the profession and the insurance industry
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