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Thread: Looking for a career change..... please help!

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Looking for a career change..... please help!

    Hello All,

    I graduated 3 years ago with a BS in Electrical Engineering and have had a job in consulting engineering for those 3 years. I am looking to make a career change and jump into actuarial work but am not sure how to go about it. I am hoping that I would not have to take a pay cut to get into the business, as I am currently making 65k/yr. but I see a lot of potential for greater earnings as an actuary. Can anyone help give some insight or some direction.........
    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Go to D.W. Simpson's website and check out their salary survey. You'll be taking a pay cut most likely, especially if you haven't passed any exams, which it would be hard to even get a job with no exams. Study and take the first exam, if you pass, try to get a job, but expect an initial paycut.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I am also an engineer (civil) with about 10 years of consulting experience. Looked into the actuarial field because of my interest in mathematics/statistics, and after a lot of soul searching realized engineering hasn't been the right fit for me all along. The fact actuaries can make a lot more than engineers (at least civil) was also a plus. After I took P and FM I talked with DW Simpson about what was out there. I managed one interview but was ultimately the runner up for that position. In the meantime I studied for MFE and sat for that the other week. Just after taking that one I interviewed and landed a position as an analyst. The three biggest selling points for me in getting the job were a) my desire to get into the field (taking exams), b) maturity, and c) my consulting experience. I'd like to think my personality counted for something too. :smiloe:

    My advice would be to continue taking exams; at least two is kind of the minimum for career changers (shows commitment). Also, set yourself above the entry-level competition by selling your consulting experience (particularly if that's the route you choose to pursue). Ultimately, consulting is consulting, and potential employers want to know that you can actually talk to clients and not be a recluse in the corner cubicle. Enthusiasm goes a long way too. When I graduated and started interviewing in the engineering field, it was merely to pay the bills. Show interviewers that you really want it. I would suspect that many "kids" straight out of school would show the level of enthusiasm I did.

    I will be taking a pay cut for the next few years (about $30k reduction to start). It's a lifestyle change but one that my family and I can make. In the long run, though, I know that this field will prove to be much more lucrative, and it won't be all that long before I am back to where I am now.

    I hope this helps you out in your search for happiness!

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Thanks so much for this reply, it really helps a lot. It's good to hear stories of others who have gone through similar situations!!

    Take care

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