Q. So how's the job market?
A. This is the question that we are asked most frequently.
The demand for Casualty Actuaries in the U.S. has been especially strong
over the last decade.
During recent years, the job market for Casualty Actuaries has continued to be strong chiefly for the following reasons:
- Many Casualty Actuaries have moved into non-traditional positions. Therefore, while the number of traditional Actuarial positions has not significantly expanded, some Actuaries have moved into non-traditional positions in Insurance Companies and with other industries, including Financial Institutions.
- Because of the change in the CAS syllabus in 2000, and the resulting loss of credits by most pre-ACAS's, there was a number of pre-ACAS's who simply dropped out of the Actuarial field.
In addition, there was a decline in new people entering the Casualty Actuarial profession. These considerations along with increasing reporting requirements and demand for reporting transparency, lead to such legislation as Sarbanes-Oxley and renewed demand for Actuarial skills and, thereby, professional opportunities.
In summary, the Casualty Actuarial job market continues to be very strong. However, company job specs tend to be fairly narrow. The specialties within the Actuarial profession can be very diverse. The real challenge is matching the job specs with candidate backgrounds and interests. The most important qualities to employers are: (1) solid technical skills, (2) good verbal and written communication skills, (3) a strong business orientation, (4) product knowledge, and (5) being a "team player."
Q. Are salaries going up?
A. In general, yes, faster than many related professions. The increased demand for the actuarial function to be a more integral part of business management has been a leading factor. This, coupled with limited skilled resource supply, has pushed compensation.
Q. Are there large Regional salary differences?
A. In general, Regional salary differences in the U.S. are 10% or less. Of course, there are some exceptions, but for the most part, Casualty Actuarial is a cohesive profession and a great deal of information is interchanged by those in the profession.
Regional cost-of-living differences can vary 50% or more. However, Actuarial salaries do not vary nearly as widely.
Most North American Actuaries attend Regional and National meetings where there is a significant interchange of information. This is unlike some Insurance professions such as Accounting, Underwriting, Claims, etc., where there is less cohesiveness and, therefore, more Regional salary disparity.
Q. Is there a strong demand for Casualty Actuaries Overseas?
A. Yes, there has been an increased demand Overseas for North-American trained Casualty Actuaries, who are usually referred to as "Non-Life" Actuaries. Most Actuarial Societies throughout the World place very little, if any, emphasis on Casualty Exams in their programs. Most of the World's Casualty Actuaries have been trained in North America, with Europe and Canada gaining recognition.
It's also important to note that employers in most Countries, because of immigration laws and Work Permit requirements, often insist on an ACAS or FCAS designation, because it's easier to obtain a Work Permit for those employees.
In conclusion, although there will probably continue to be an increase in demand Overseas for Casualty Actuaries, it is our opinion that the "importing" of Casualty Actuaries from North America is a short-term phenomenon and will diminish as mutual certifying organizations and training programs continue to align.