Actuary Courses, Training and Career Education Programs

To become an actuary, students must take courses in actuary mathematics and statistics, and pass the Actuarial Science Associate and Fellows exam. Actuaries can work with insurance companies, universities, labor unions and the government. Students who study actuarial science learn how to calculate bond interest and insurance premiums, assess risk, distribute payments and create survival models.

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Actuary Courses

Actuarial Science

Through the examination of life, social and casualty insurance, students prepare themselves for the Actuarial Science Associate and Fellows exam. Students learn about counting techniques, moment-generating functions and insurance medicine. Students prepare for careers in insurance by learning about mortality, health outcomes and insurance policies. There is also discussion of current developments in the actuary field.

Actuarial Mathematics

In the mathematics course, students begin to create survival models and learn to calculate insurance premiums. Many special topics are covered, including multiple life functions, Poisson distribution, benefit reserves and life annuities. Students prepare for the actuary exams while learning the calculus-based theories of actuarial science.

Actuarial Statistics

While both mathematics and statistics are interchangeable in the training outline, statistics focuses on assessing risk, analyzing collected data and researches the distribution of insurance claims. The continuation of learning counting techniques and models takes place in this course, along with new study of expected values, Bayes' theorem and random variables.


This course is taken after the other three core courses. Through this course, students familiarize themselves with the basics of interest on insurance policies. Simple and compound interest, annuities, depreciation and reinvestment are examined. Students are trained in calculating present and future values of insurance claims, stocks and bonds. This course is also a preparation for the Actuarial Science Associate and Fellows exam.

Training Information

Many colleges offer degrees in actuarial science, and it falls as a concentration under a science degree. The Actuarial Science Associate and Fellow exam opens up many more opportunities for graduates in the actuary field. The Society of Actuaries and the Casual Actuarial Society both offer the actuarial examinations.

Career Information

Graduates of actuary science go on to work in insurance agencies, universities, banks and consulting services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 21,340 jobs in the actuary field in 2012; and this number was expected to increase ( The average salary for actuaries was more than $106,680 in 2012.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics