According to data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of an actuary—an individual who analyzes statistical data for the purpose of forecasting risk and liability—was $107,740 as of May 2013. This breaks down to an average compensation of $51.80 per hour. The typical actuary works full time in an office setting, while others work as consultants, traveling frequently to meet with clients.

Actuaries working with insurance brokerages, agencies and other insurance-related activities earned the highest yearly salary—$119,440—whereas those working for state governments earned the least—$79,830.

Highest Paying States for Actuaries | FindTheBest

The yearly salary of an actuary also varies by state. The top five paying states for this occupation in 2013 were Kansas ($136,070), New York ($133,990), Colorado ($126,790), Vermont ($121,510) and Idaho ($117,990). 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 26% expected between 2012 and 2022. This is much more rapid than the average growth for all career fields and is estimated to result in roughly 6,300 new jobs over the 10-year period. Overall, however, this is a relatively small field, with only 20,080 actuaries employed as of 2013.

More actuaries will be needed in the health insurance industry to determine the effects of new healthcare laws. More jobs will also be created in property and casualty insurance to determine the risks to communities prone to more frequent storms. Enterprise risk management, the practice of helping companies manage their own risk, will also boost job opportunities for actuaries.

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