What subjects are needed to become an actuary?

If you’re considering becoming an actuary, you probably want to know the courses you’ll be required to take in college or university in order to get a job.

Essentially, the subjects you’ll need to be an actuary are:

Calculus
Algebra
Statistics
Probability
Computer Science
Finance
Economics
Business
Actuarial Science (if available)

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How Actuarial Exams Work

If you want to become an actuary you’re going to have to go through the actuarial exam process. So knowing how it works is critical.

To put it very simply, the actuarial exams are a series of 10 exams with multiple choice and written answer type questions. The exams are timed for 3 to 5 hours depending on the exam and the series takes most people between 7 and 10 years to complete.

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Do actuaries use calculus?

Calculus is one of those subjects that is nice to learn about, but it’s hard to see how we’d actually use it in real life. You may have heard that aspiring actuaries should have some background in calculus. Or maybe you’re writing Exam P and are wondering if you’re...

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The Best Major for an Actuary

Actuaries are the finance, statistics, and business gurus of the insurance world. So if you want to become one, you’re probably wondering what you should major in that’ll give you the background you need to be successful.

Surprisingly, you don’t actually need any degree to be an actuary! Employers really just care that you’re able to pass exams.

But I wouldn’t recommend going into an actuarial career without some sort of degree since it will help you in your career and with exams, as well as increase your employability if you choose the right one.

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Am I smart enough to be an actuary?

If you're considering becoming an actuary, this is probably one of the first questions that came to mind.  All the math and statistics you’d need to know, as well as passing the tough actuarial exams can make it all seem a bit intimidating. So how smart do you need to...

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CAS vs. SOA. What’s the difference? Which path to choose?

The Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries are American actuarial organizations that standardize and regulate actuaries in the U.S.

SOA vs. CAS: The primary difference is that they each support actuaries in different industries. The CAS provides standards and regulations for actuaries that work in property and casualty (P&C) insurance. The SOA does the same for actuaries that work in life, health, pensions and retirement.

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2 Actuarial Exams Passed. What starting salary to expect?

You’ve studied hard. Passed two exams. And now it’s time to search for an entry-level job (or it will be soon). How much should you expect to make?

Here’s the quick answer: Your entry-level actuarial salary will depend on your geographical area, your past experience, and the industry that you go into (P&C, life, health, pension, etc.). If you’re in the U.S. you can expect somewhere between 46K – 71K annually. In Canada, you’re very unlikely to get a job with just 2 exams.

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