According to data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay of an actuary – an individual who analyzes statistical data for the purpose of forecasting risk and liability – was $101,560 as of May 2017. This breaks down to an average compensation of $48.83 per hour. The typical actuary works full time in an office for a particular employer, but some work as consultants, traveling frequently to meet with clients.
The yearly salary of an actuary also varies by state. The top five payers in 2017 were New York ($145,180), the District of Columbia ($127,960), Connecticut ($127,380), Georgia ($121,780) and Washington ($121,330). Not surprisingly, actuaries working in metropolitan areas earned more than those employed in non-metropolitan areas.
Actuaries are essential to the insurance industry, and thus the job outlook for actuaries is very promising, with an employment growth of 22% expected between 2016 and 2026. This is much more rapid than the average growth for all careers and is estimated to result in roughly 5,300 new jobs over the 10-year period. Overall, however, this is a relatively small field, with only 23,600 actuaries employed as of 2016.
More actuaries will be needed in the health insurance industry to determine the effects of changing healthcare laws. More jobs will also be created in property insurance and casualty insurance to determine the risks to communities prone to more frequent storms and other types of extreme weather. Enterprise risk management, the practice of helping companies manage their own risk, will also boost job opportunities for actuaries.