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Actuaries Job Outlook

Employment of actuaries is expected to increase by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The largest employment growth for actuaries is expected in consulting services.

Employment of actuaries in the insurance industry is expected to grow by 25 percent because actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks. In health insurance, more actuaries will be needed to evaluate the effects that new healthcare laws, such as changes in coverage and expansion of customer pools, pose to insurance companies and to develop new products in response. Changes in healthcare laws will also boost demand for consulting actuaries who evaluate healthcare plans for companies.

More actuaries will be needed in property and casualty insurance to evaluate the risks posed to property by the effects of climate change.

Demand is not expected to be as strong for actuaries who specialize in life insurance. Consolidation in the industry is expected to limit the number of new jobs.

Rapid employment growth of 58 percent is expected in consulting services from a continuing need to evaluate and manage employee benefit plans for employers and to do contract work for insurers. In addition, more industries are expected to use consulting actuaries to assess risks across all areas of business, a practice known as enterprise risk management. 

Job Prospects

Actuaries should expect strong competition for most jobs. Actuaries are a small field, and the relatively high pay and comfortable working conditions make being an actuary a desirable career. Students who have passed at least one actuarial exam and have had an internship while in college should have the best job prospects for entry-level positions.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition