Nice drive to Reno, Nevada yesterday.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Reno, Nevada.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Do you know what an actuary is?

Our son has decided he'd like to be an actuary.

When he brought this up, I didn't know what to think because although I had heard the term before, I didn't really know what an actuary is. Or how you become one. Or what an actuary does.

So I did some research. In short, an actuary deals with the mathematical probabilities related to risk management. They work mostly for insurance companies, but also for consulting firms, governments, and pension funds.

Actuaries are well paid. Hey, you have to be a pretty smart person to become one. In fact, just to get into a summer internship program in university requires a minimum GPA of 3.2. Even the summer internship programs pay between $16 and $25 per hour. A full time training job for someone just out of university pays around $60,000. And a fully qualified actuary will make between $125,000 and $200,000 per year.

So to become an actuary, you have to take a lot of math, statistics, finance, and economics in school. And you have to get very good grades. Then, before your senior year, you have to do a summer internship job at one of the major insurance or health benefit companies.

After university, you will get a training job. You will also have to become a member of the Society of Actuaries, and take the many exams required to become part of the Fellowship of Actuaries. Fortunately, you are well paid during the early years of this "apprenticeship" because these exams require about 400 hours of study time to pass one 4 hour exam. And less than 50% of everyone who takes their first exam passes it.

So tomorrow, I will help our son with filling out some of the applications to get into one of these summer internships. He's a smart guy, so he'll get in somewhere.

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