Actuaries are professionals who analyse the financial impact of risk, particularly looking ahead far into the future. Actuaries use skills in mathematics, economics and statistics to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance companies and pension schemes.
Usually an actuary's job will involve quantifying how much a sum of money will be worth at different points in the future. Since this is not a deterministic process, stochastic models are used to determine a distribution and the parameters of the distribution.
Recently the scope of the actuarial field has widened to include investment advice, and even asset management.
Actuaries will typically be employed in insurance companies, consulting firms, or government departments. Many belong to one or more professional bodies, which include:
- the Casualty Actuarial Society, Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries in the US;
- the Institute of Actuaries in England;
- the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland;
- the Canadian Institute of Actuaries;
- the International Actuarial Association; and
- the International Association of Consulting Actuaries.