An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. These risks can affect both sides of the balance sheet, and require asset management, liability management, and valuation skills. Actuaries provide assessments of financial security systems, with a focus on their complexity, their mathematics, and their

Actuaries of the 21st century require analytical skills, business knowledge, and an understanding of human behavior and information systems to design and manage programs that control risk. The actual steps needed to become an actuary are usually country-specific; however, almost all processes share a rigorous schooling or examination structure and take many years to complete.

The profession has consistently been ranked as one of the most desirable. In various studies, being an actuary was ranked number one or two multiple times since 2010.

Remuneration and ranking

As there are relatively few actuaries in the world (compared to other professions), actuaries are in high demand, and are highly paid for the services they render. As of 2014[update], in the United States, newly credentialed actuaries on average earn around $100,000 per year, while more experienced actuaries can earn over $150,000 per year. Similarly, a 2014[update] survey in the United Kingdom indicated a starting salary for a newly credentialed actuary of about £50,000; actuaries with more experience can earn well in excess of £100,000.

The actuarial profession has been consistently ranked for decades as one of the most desirable. Actuaries work comparatively reasonable hours, in comfortable conditions, without the need for physical exertion that may lead to injury, are well paid, and the profession consistently has a good hiring outlook. Not only has the overall profession ranked highly, but it also is considered one of the best professions for women, and one of the best recession-proof professions. In the United States, the profession was rated as the best profession by CareerCast, which uses five key criteria to rank jobs – environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, and stress, in 2010, 2013 and 2015. In other years, it remained in the top 10. In the United Kingdom and around the world, actuaries continue to be highly ranked as a profession.