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Department of Mathematics
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Actuarial Math

What is an Actuary?
An actuary evaluates the financial impact of risk by evaluating the likelihood of future events, designing creative ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events, and decreasing the impact of undesirable events that do occur.

What does an Actuary do?
Product design, Marketing actuary, Experience studies, Valuation of inforce blocks, Profitability analysis, Risk management, Projection of future financials, Rating agencies and regulators, Influence public policy and regulations, Moves on to executive levels of management.

Employment and Compensation:
Actuaries work for insurance companies, government, and consulting firms. In spring of 2006, a survey shows in the Omaha region, with only a bachelor's degree and some work experience, a yearly salary of $96,170 and those with a Master's made $107,800. As of 2004, the national median annual salary was $76,340.

How to prepare for actuarial work:
The following college courses to include in your degree are MATH 1950, 1960, 1970, 3300, 3400, 4740, and 4750. (see additional non-math courses below under 'additional requirements'.)

In the actuarial profession you can earn while you learn. Many students receive on-the-job training while enrolled in the examination process. Employers are generally supportive and may give students study time during working hours, pay exam fees, and award raises for each exam passed. However, most employers prefer to hire people who have started the series of examinations on their own and have already passed at least two or three. Exams cost approximately $175 and can be locally issued through the Sylvan Learning Centers.

The 9 levels of examinations are as follows: (CAS uses numbers and SOA uses letters for exam identification)

  • Exam 1/P - Mathematical Foundations of Actuarial Science, (use of math course 1950, 4740)
  • Exam 2/FM - Interest Theory, Economics and Finance, (use of math course 3400)
  • Exam 3/M - Actuarial Models, (use of math course 4750)
  • Exam 4/C - Actuarial Modeling
  • Exam 5 - Application of Basic Actuarial Principles
  • Exam 6 - Finance and Investments
  • Exam 7 - Applies Actuarial Modeling
  • Exam 8 - Advanced Specialized Actuarial Practice
  • Professional Development

Syllabus for Exam 1/P

Examples of exams may be found at www.beanactuary.com and for concrete information on topics for the exams, go to www.casact.org/admissions/syllabus under 'syllabus summary'.

Additional Requirements
In addition to exams, there are requirements that are based on education. For VEE's (Validation by Educational Experience) a candidate must show that subject has been sufficiently covered by university or other coursework. There can be up to three areas:

  • Applied Statistical Methods - ECON 3300 + a time series course
  • Corporate Finance - FNBK 3250
  • Economics - ECON 2200 + ECON 2220

All of these courses are found in the pre-actuarial area of concentration for math majors.

Additional Information
In addition to exams, there are requirements that are based on education. For VEE's (Validation by Educational Experience) a candidate must show that subject has been sufficiently covered by university or other coursework. There can be up to three areas: