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Actuaries are experts in risk assessment and financial management. They evaluate the likelihood of unfortunate accidents or circumstances, design programs to reduce such likelihoods, and decide how much money should be reserved to cover financial damages. The majority of actuarial jobs are found with insurance companies. Other professionals work for consulting firms, providing actuarial services for individuals or businesses on a contract basis. Actuarial jobs are also found in banks, large corporations, universities, and government agencies.
Professionals who work for insurance companies conduct research and analyze statistics to determine the risks that people or businesses might face. They compare generalized statistics with a policyholder's circumstances to decide how much should be charged. An automobile insurance actuary, for example, uses factors such as person's driving record, age, type of automobile, and location to determine policy rates. Insurance actuaries attempt to create policies that minimize potential payouts by insurance companies while providing customers with sufficient coverage in the event of an accident. Actuarial jobs are found in every realm of the insurance business, including property, casualty, health, and life insurance companies.
Many actuaries provide consulting services for small businesses and individual clients. Most consulting actuarial jobs are found at private firms, though some skilled actuaries operate successful independent contracting businesses. Consultants analyze financial records, workplace risks, and sales data to help business owners create the most efficient pay scales and benefits packages. They design pension packages that will secure the financial future of employees while keeping company costs low. A professional who is hired by a private citizen helps the person make smart investments and career planning moves.
Large corporations, investment banks, and private educational institutions frequently hire full-time actuaries to solve financial problems and advise executives on business decisions. Actuaries in corporations assess the risks and benefits involved with potential mergers and acquisitions. Bank executives rely on actuaries to provide expert advice on the creation of new investing policies and customer account plans. Actuarial jobs at colleges and universities involve determining tuition and housing rates, setting up payment plans, and securing the financial assets of schools.
Local and federal governments hire actuaries to help design and implement public policies. Professionals determine how much money should be allocated to government programs such as community development projects, healthcare aid, and Social Security. They work closely with politicians, government officials, lobbyists, and private citizens to create policies and programs that offer the best possible benefits within a set budget.