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Career and Education Opportunities for Actuaries in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be an actuary, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,350 jobs for actuaries in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow by 29% to 1,750 jobs 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.

The income of an actuary is about $48 per hour or $101,510 annually on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $40 per hour or $84,810 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis, people working as actuaries in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis nationally. People working as actuaries can fill a number of jobs, such as: consulting actuary, insurance actuary, and health actuary.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be an actuary, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. The most common level of education for actuaries is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Pittsburgh 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

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a bachelor's degree program in Actuarial Science which graduated ten 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.