Being an actuary means, for the most part, a 9-to-5 office job. As your expertise and responsibilities grow, that may change somewhat, just as any job advancement would alter one's lifestyle. But in the end, you'll go in, have meetings, define goals, crunch numbers, write reports and implement your work, then come home. Maybe you'll do some catch-up at the end of the day with e-mail or some work-related reading.
Office drone, you say? Hardly. You're going to be dealing with very important issues that not only affect the company you work for, but the thousands, even millions, of customers of that company and its competitors. Your hard work can save billions of dollars and can people's jobs and can help others prepare for and mitigate the worst risks that can befall a company.
"Not bad for a mathematician, right?" said one pension actuary who's currently working to make sure that a major corporation's now-closed pension fund can still pay off its surviving beneficiaries. "I've got 15,000 or so people who will need this fund, maybe for the next 30 years. Without this fund, they have nothing. It's nice to feel like you're helping people."
And don't pooh-pooh the 9-to-5 thing, either. You'll work hard, but you'll also have the opportunity to have a life -- something quite rare in the business world. Furthermore, your expertise, training and certifications all mean that you'll earn a very comfortable salary. You'll start in the $50,000 annual salary range, and make 10 times that in a surprisingly short amount of time.
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