If you’re trying to decide whether or not the actuarial career path is a good fit for you, you’ll want to make sure you embody all 5 of these characteristics.

  1. You’re interested in the concepts behind insurance.
  2. You’re a problem solver.
  3. You’re self-motivated, goal-oriented, and don’t give up easily.
  4. You’re detail-oriented.
  5. You desire a professional, high salary career with just a bachelor’s degree.

It usually takes between 7 and 10 years to become a fully qualified actuary. So, if you don’t have these qualities ingrained in you, you might find that it’s difficult to stick to the career for the long haul.

Now, let’s look into why each of these qualities is required for someone who wants to be an actuary.

You’re Interested in Insurance Concepts

You probably already know that most actuaries work in insurance companies. There are lots of other places that you can work but typically you’ll do something involving insurance.

If you don’t find the concepts behind insurance and how it all works to be interesting, then probably won’t find that the actuarial career path is a good fit for you.

All the exams will involve these concepts too. The exams take hundreds of hours to study for, so you’ll get bored fairly easily if you’re not genuinely interested in insurance topics.

You’re a Problem Solver

If you want a career that’s mentally stimulating, and one that challenges you on a daily basis, then becoming an actuary may be an excellent choice.

You’ve got to love problem solving!

For example, you could be using your problem solving skills on things like process improvement. Or you might be faced with the challenge to lower costs on a certain insurance product without impacting the quality.

Even the exam process involves a lot of problem solving. You get tons of questions thrown at you, and you’ve got to use logic and your own skills and knowledge to come up with a reasonable solution.
So, if you don’t like try to solve problems and come up with creative solutions that you’re probably not going to love a career as an actuary.

You’re Self-Motivated and Goal-Oriented

In order to become an actuary, there are 10 actuarial exams you need to pass in order to become fully qualified. And, like I said above, it often takes between 7 and 10 years to attain that.

So, if you’re someone that likes to have clear objectives and if you’re highly motivated to achieve those objectives no matter what it takes, then you’d excel in an actuarial career.

Another personality trait is that you have to be very self-motivated. For most people it takes hundreds of hours just to study for just one exam.

That being said, if you find it difficult to come up with the internal drive to do things even when you don’t feel like it, this career path may not be right for you. It’ll probably become too difficult to push through all the studying.

You’re Detail Oriented

Someone that is detail oriented is constantly taking in new data, and thinking about whether or not it seems logical. They’re constantly analyzing situations.

When I was first starting my career as an actuary, I noticed early on that this was something my boss did naturally, all the time. Whenever I gave him results for anything, he’s always analyse the results and see whether or not they matched with his expectations.

There were many times that they didn’t, so that meant we had to look further into the details and figure out why.

For example, if you’re adding a feature to an insurance product that ultimately forces the insurance company to take on more risk then you should expect premiums to increase.

You Desire a Professional, High Salary Career

One of the best things about an actuarial career is that it allows you to get a very well paying job without having to complete education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Studying for actuarial exams will give you all the specific knowledge that you need in order to become an actuary. So, the specialization of your bachelor’s degree doesn’t matter all that much either.

If you’re interested in knowing more about actuarial starting salaries, you’ll definitely want to read this post. I go into detail about what level of salary you should expect with having just 2 exams passed.

Related Questions

Would I like being an actuary? Being an actuary requires you to be goal-oriented, self-motivated, and a problem solver. If that’s you, and you’d be interested in applying your skills to insurance, then you’d probably like being an actuary.

What are the benefits of being an actuary? The benefits of being an actuary are that you’ll be challenged on daily basis, you get to use math in your day-to-day work, you can earn a high salary and get frequent raises by passing actuarial exams.

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Get an actuarial job even in today's competitive market!

Get all my best tips on how to become a TOP actuarial candidate so that you can get your actuarial dream job.

Just add your email below.




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