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Career and Education Opportunities for Actuaries in Boston, Massachusetts

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for actuaries in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Currently, 1,080 people work as actuaries in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow 22% to 1,320 people by 2016. This is better than 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.

Actuaries earn approximately $45 per hour or $94,850 annually on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $40 hourly or $84,810 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis, people working as actuaries in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis nationally. Actuaries work in a variety of jobs, including: pricing analyst, pricing actuary, and actuarial assistant.

The Boston area is home to 151 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree as an actuary. Actuaries usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Boston 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

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has a master's degree program in Actuarial Science which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

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: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.