How Much Do Actuaries Make?

As we know professionals who become actuaries and grow in their careers are distinctive individuals. They love applying their talent with statistics, calculations and analysis to solve problems in ways that seek the best outcome. They also draw upon informed imagination to establish scenarios that help to minimize risk and expense.

In these ways, actuaries contribute to smarter risk management and stronger economic growth. Businesses – particularly insurance companies – depend on them for operational stability and liability containment. Through actuaries’ knowledge and assessments, enterprises can plan, modify and carry out their objectives more wisely.

Diverse sources cite actuary as one of the best jobs in America. It is one of the top jobs for graduates with a major in mathematics. In addition to job security and professional fulfillment, actuaries can achieve superb compensation.

Factors That Influence Actuarial Salary

Before we cite particular salary figures, we’ll first review variables that determine how much an actuary can make yearly.

Leading factors include:

Actuary Type. Different actuaries earn different salaries based on the work they do in their fields, such as pricing, finance, government, insurance, or property and casualty. Actuaries in the private sector often earn higher salaries than those in public and non-profit positions.
Experience. Total years will often influence salary level. However, actuaries that remain with one company for a long period might trail those with the same experience who command a greater pay jump by changing jobs. Salaries also are increasing for actuaries with skills in data science. Specialization becomes an asset as well – in many cases, actuaries can double their starting salary after five years in their field.
Location. Actuary salaries will vary according to where a business is located. For example, positions in larger cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. typically pay more than those in rural regions of the Midwest and South. In just the last couple years, Remote and Virtual positions now play a strong factor in establishing someone’s salary level. Are people’s salary higher or lower depending on their geographic location compared to where the company office is located. Example: the company office is in Los Angeles and the employee resides in Boise, Idaho. Does the employee’s salary compare to others in LA or to the cost of living in Boise? So far, this seems to be a case-by-case basis with no real standard. Only time will tell.
Organizational Size. Businesses with thousands of employees may typically provide more annual increases as well as possibilities for promotion. Conversely, smaller operations might offer more opportunities to develop broader skill sets toward future advancement.
Accreditation. To move toward the higher levels of their professional salary, actuaries must pursue an ASA or ACAS and then an FSA or FCAS and/or an EA designation. Those who choose to discontinue their accreditation before attaining their fellowship, will often reach a lower salary ceiling than those who continue to the higher level.

What Is the Average Entry-Level Actuary Salary?

An actuary may often follow a career path of internship > entry level > associate > actuarial manager or other leadership position.

An actuary internship allows aspirants to work alongside seasoned actuaries. The experience gained can often increase chances of employment for the intern. In some cases, the skills and relationships developed by the intern can lead to a job offer from the business where the work is performed.

The average salary for an actuary intern is approximately $35,000 per year.

The average entry-level salary for an actuary is approximately $55,000 per year.

What Is the Salary of an Experienced Actuary?

As an entry-level actuary continues developing skills and experience, the salary factors we touched on above will further shape the growth in pay. Elements such as location, specialization and the number of exams passed will often play pivotal roles.

While the amount can vary by U.S. region as it does for entry-level salaries, the median salary for established actuaries as of August 2022 is approximately $111,000.

A typical salary for an actuarial manager can be approximately $135,000 per year. As experienced fellows gain greater seniority, they have the potential to earn more than $250,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, the top 10% of actuaries earned more than $196,000.

As a matter of comparison with related fields, the median salary for accountants has recently been $70,500, budget analysts $76,200 and financial analysts $85,660. The average salary for cost estimators has been approximately $67,000.

With an expected annual growth rate of 24% from 2020 through 2030, job forecasts for actuaries will remain much more robust than the predicted growth for all occupations.

The website identifies that U.S. actuaries are likely to have their salaries increased by approximately 11% on average every 17 months. The national average annual increment for all other professions combined is 8% every 16 months.

Your Next Big Opportunity Is in Reach

S.C. International can help you leap to the next level of your goals as a professional actuary. We invite you to learn more about our knowledge and resources for discovering greater satisfaction and rewards on your career path. To further discuss salaries and job opportunities for actuaries, contact us today at (630) 963-3033 Extension 107 for Ken Bork or