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Career and Education Opportunities for Actuaries in Chicago, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for actuaries in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 860 people are currently employed as actuaries in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 20% to about 1,030 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for actuaries are expected to grow by about 21.4%. Actuaries generally analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits.

A person working as an actuary can expect to earn about $41 hourly or $85,410 yearly on average in Illinois and about $40 hourly or $84,810 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for actuaries are better than in the overall category of Statistics Analysis in Illinois, and better than the overall Statistics Analysis category nationally. Jobs in this field include: pricing analyst, actuarial consultant, and product development actuary.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as an actuary. Actuaries usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be an actuary if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Actuary

Actuary video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, actuaries analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. They also may ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.

Actuaries ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves and liabilities needed to insure payment of future benefits. They also decide on or help decide on company policy, and explain complex technical matters to company executives or the public. Equally important, actuaries have to analyze statistical data to estimate mortality and retirement rates. They are often called upon to collaborate with programmers and senior management to help companies design plans for new lines of business or improving existing business. They are expected to testify in court as expert witnesses or to furnish legal evidence on matters such as the value of potential lifetime earnings of a person who is disabled or killed in an accident. Finally, actuaries testify before public agencies on proposed legislation affecting businesses.

Every day, actuaries are expected to be able to deal with basic arithmetic problems. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for actuaries to furnish advice to customers on a contract basis, working as a consultant. They are often called upon to decide on policy contract provisions for each type of insurance. They also decide on equitable basis for distributing surplus earnings under participating insurance and annuity contracts in mutual companies. They are sometimes expected to furnish expertise to help financial institutions manage risks and maximize returns associated with investment products or credit offerings. Somewhat less frequently, actuaries are also expected to oversee credit and help price corporate security offerings.

Actuaries sometimes are asked to construct probability tables for events such as fires and unemployment, on the basis of analysis of statistical data and other pertinent data. and explain changes in contract provisions to clients. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish advice to customers on a contract basis, working as a consultant.

Like many other jobs, actuaries must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Operations Research Analyst. Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods using a computer to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions. May develop related software, service, or products. Frequently concentrates on collecting and analyzing data and developing decision support software. May develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation, review, or implementation.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Actuary Training

Indiana University-Northwest - Gary, IN

Indiana University-Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408-1197. Indiana University-Northwest is a small university located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,794 students and an admission rate of 80%. Indiana University-Northwest has a bachelor's degree program in Actuarial Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has a bachelor's degree program in Actuarial Science.

North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540. North Central College is a small college located in Naperville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,726 students and an admission rate of 69%. North Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Actuarial Science.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree program in Actuarial Science.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Pension Consultant: The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is designed for benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial administration, insurance, and financial planning.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator: The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is conferred by ASPPA to retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Associateship in the Casualty Actuarial Society: Candidates for Associateship in the Casualty Actuarial Society must fulfill the examination requirements by successful completion of, or credit for, Exams 1-7, and have credit by Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) for the required topics of economics, corporate finance, and applied statistical methods.

For more information, see the Casualty Actuarial Society website.

Associate of the Society of Actuaries: An Associate of the Society of Actuaries has demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental concepts and techniques for modeling and managing risk.

For more information, see the Society of Actuaries website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.