3 Top Traits Companies Look for in an Actuary

Actuaries work in areas like insurance, finance, and health care and Actuaries need to have a wide range of skills to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently. What are three traits that actuaries should have beyond math and numeracy skills.

Have you heard the joke: How do you know if an actuary is having a bad day?

“They can’t solve their own problems.”

1) The first trait that actuaries are known for is their analytical problem-solving skills. Actuaries are frequently called upon to develop innovative methods to solve complex issues. These innovative methods need to be consistent and they need to return reliable results. Actuaries need to be analytical problem solvers as their tasks include examining complex data and identifying patterns and trends to determine which factors are responsible for specific outcomes.

Have you heard the joke: What do you call an actuary who is always late for work?

“A lagged variable.”

2) Actuaries use statistical methods to test the validity and reliability of their models and assumptions. Core competence with EXCEL and VBA are the minimum requirements to successfully fulfill their duties. Other languages like R, SQL, and SAS are desirable and will need to be learned as an actuary progresses throughout their career.

Have you heard the joke: How do you spot an extroverted actuary in a crowd of actuaries?

“They are the one staring at someone else’s shoes.”

3) The third trait and arguably the most important trait that actuaries should have is communication and interpersonal skills. Actuaries need to communicate their findings and recommendations effectively to clients and employers. Actuaries frequently work in team environments necessitating the need to complete their assigned tasks and to effectively communicate their specialized contributions related to the team endeavor. For example, actuaries may need to explain complex concepts in simple terms to non-technical audiences, such as policyholders or regulators. They may also need to collaborate with other professionals, such as accountants, lawyers, or managers.

S.C. International is a reputable and reliable actuarial recruiter that can help you find your next opportunity, earn what you are worth, and plan your career path. If you are interested in working with us, you can fill out our online application form or contact us directly at (630) 963-3033 or You can also visit us at to learn more about our services, areas of expertise, salary survey results, and our current job openings.

S.C. International is looking forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your career goals!