I am not an actuary, never have been, and never have studied to be one. So I, in no way, pretend to be in any way knowledgable on the subject. What I do know is the "basics" of what this very wide-ranging profession includes.
I am a high school math (AP Calculus and Precalculus) and physics teacher in my fifth year. In my precalculus course, we do a detailed look at probability... beyond the basic rule and into more complex situations.
As teachers are always trying to do (or should be at least), I am trying to give students a more applicable way to study probability than the usual way (i.e. the textbook questions, like what is the probability of pulling 2 kings from a deck of cards).
What I decided to do this year was show them an actuarial life table and give them some case study situations with term life insurance policies (i.e. 45 year old male, info about his health, value of the policy wanted, etc.) and asked them to come up with a prediction for a premium to charge this person by looking at the probability of death during that time frame.
Now, before anybody tells me this, I know very well that I really (and I mean really) simplified the process and calculations that would be involved in actually calculating this premium. But the point I wanted to get across to them was that this is the task of an actuary - to determine the likelihood of this person dying during this term and, thus, the likelihood of the company having to pay out the dollar amount of the policy.
My question for those on the board in the profession is this...
Can you see any way in which I can make this a bit more "real" with regards to what you do in your profession without stepping above the level of the students (they have almost all been through a HS statistics course and are currently in a precalculus class - they know no calculus at this point)?