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Thread: Day in the life

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Day in the life

    Hello! I have been throwing the idea of switching careers and becoming an actuary for about a year now and I'm really starting to get serious about it.

    I have been able to find most of the information I've looked for but I still have one question I have been unable to find a good answer to. Here's my question:

    I know what an actuary does (purpose of a actuaries, their product, clientele etc.) but I don't know what and actuary "does." What is a typical day in the life of an actuary? Do actuaries sit in front of a computer all day and crunch numbers? Do they attend a lot of meetings? Is traveling a big component of the job?

    I'm well aware of all the math that an actuary uses and how they use statistical analysis to calculate risk mostly for insurance purposes, but I really am struggling to find any resources that explain a day-in-the-life.

    Any response would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    There really isn't a "typical" day for an actuary. Every day is different, and that's because the task at hand can (and does) vary from day to day, and during the day.

    Example: this past week, I was working on finishing 3rd quarter indications for our homeowners book - but in the middle of that, a question came up on the frequency of large losses. So, I pulled claim-level data that would let us see the frequency of large losses over a given threshold, for any state and program and cause of loss. I also had to sit in on a question from a state DOI on a filing we submitted last month, and work on a response that satisfied the questions asked.

    Next week, at this point there won't be much going on so I'll be able to put in study time for Online Course 2 which I'll take on the 14th. I'll have to prepare exhibits to go out to various managers on the indications, but that will be early on in the week. I can see possibly some re-doing of a couple of our programs to provide extra information for indications that people requested during the peer review, and that's about it right now. However, if/when people ask for various information, I'll have to respond accordingly - and perhaps in a compressed time frame.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_ar...blogger_id=174 - where I talk about the Blues and the NHL.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Thanks a lot for the reply, Irish. It was really helpful. I actually really like the idea that an actuary's day is unpredictable. My current job is not that way and I feel bogged down and like I'm just going through the motions so it would be a welcomed change.

    Is being an actuary usually a 9-5 job or more like getting case assignments then you work on them for a deadline without the particular hours being important?

    How much of the job is doing calculations and data manipulation? And where does that data come from? Would I need to create the data or would it be provided/in a database?

    I love doing mathematics and I'm looking for a job that allows me to use advanced math frequently. I know advanced statistics is involved but is using statistical analysis the main focus of an actuaries job? Or is statistics used now and then and the main focus of the job is to do insurance review or something of the like?

    Thank you so much for all of your help. I know that some of my questions are pretty bland, but I'm just trying to get feel for what the life of an actuary is like a little more.

    Thank you again.

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