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Career & Employment Opportunities

My Actuary Salary

if you’ve started looking into the
actuarial profession you might not know what an actuary is you might not
understand what an actuary really does but you’ve definitely read at least one
article that says that being an actuary is a high-paying career now
unfortunately I’m not a consulting company and I do not administer
actuarial salary surveys although those do exist you can just easily Google that
by searching actuary salary survey but I am a working actuary and I do know how
much I get paid so today I thought that we could talk about what goes into
determining an actuary salary how I got to my current salary and other
compensation slash benefits that I received as part of my work as an
actuary but first a quickie recap of where I am in my actuarial journey as it
relates to how much I’m getting paid I’m a fellow of the casualty actuarial
Society I have three years of work experience a bachelor’s degree in
actuarial mathematics I work for a large property and casualty insurer in Toronto
Canada one of the biggest things that will determine your actuary salary is
not actuary specific and that is the market conditions in your city how
competitive is the market what are other people getting paid in that city are
there a lot of jobs are there a few jobs are there are a lot of people looking or
there are a few people looking what’s cost of living like in that city
personally I started my career in the Montreal office of the company that I
work for then I switched to a different team while maintaining the same job
position in the Toronto office and my salary did go up significantly just
because of the difference in cost of living between Montreal and Toronto
another big thing that’s gonna impact your salary is how well you negotiate it
I’ve heard anecdotally that your biggest salary negotiation power comes when
you’re starting a new job so either starting entry-level or switching jobs I
say anecdotally because I have not switched jobs
I have only entered the job market as an entry-level employee and I’m still at my
entry-level job title and basically when they made me my job offer I tried to
negotiate by essentially being like maybe you should offer me more money no
we shouldn’t aight cool okay that didn’t work a salary determining
factor that is very actuary-specific is the number of exams that you have passed
/ the titles that you hold someone who has passed four actuarial exams should in theory be making more than someone at the same company who has
passed two actuarial exams someone who has their FSA or FCAS
should be making more money than someone who is in an ASA or ACAS all else being
equal different companies do this in different ways some companies will give
you a bonus if you pass your exam some companies will give you a salary
increase in the form of a fixed dollar amount maybe a thousand dollar increase
maybe a five thousand dollar increase depends on the exam some companies will
give you a percent increase two percent five percent something like that
personally I would get a combination of a bonus and a percent increase with
every exam that I passed another reason that your salary might go up is because
your a job title like I mentioned I am at my entry-level job position my job
title is “actuarial analyst” but when the time comes to media promote is up that
will come with both more responsibilities more ownership of my
projects and also a little bit more money not there yet don’t know how much
I get annual salary increases that are semi to reflect performance and semi to
just adjust you to the cost of inflation another big actuarial determining factor is the
type of actuary that you are if you’ve watched my videos you know that there
are insurance actuaries and consulting actuaries there are property and casualty
actuaries life actuaries pension actuaries investing actuaries different
types of actuaries will earn different types of salaries now again I do not run
actuary salary surveys so I can only speak anecdotally but a consulting
actuary will generally be earning a higher salary than an insurance actuary
however a consulting actuary will also probably be working way more hours to
the point where an insurance actuary is earning a lot more per hour worked
anecdotally in a way that is biased towards me given that I’m a property and
casualty insurance actuary I’ve heard it said that property and casualty
actuaries earn more than life actuaries but again anecdotal I wouldn’t put my
like actuarial certification signing on that not that I can actually sign
because I’m not you know I can’t do that but you know if I could I wouldn’t it’s
anecdotal in the other compensation category I earn an
annual bonus this bonus is based half on my own personal performance and half on
the company’s performance so the company does well and I do well I got a very big
bonus if the company does not do well and I do not do well I get a very sad
bonus but thankfully that’s not happened yet in my tiny little actuarial career
span scope thing I also get your regular benefits like health dental pension plan
guys having a pension plan it’s the most grown-up thing about me like that I’m
planning for retirement that is grown-up my company also offers some weird
benefits like they will give me a certain amount of money every year to
pay for a gym membership to try to you know encourage employees to work out
which is a benefit that I’ve never actually used but I probably should
because I need to get in shape I also get actuary specific other compensation
when I was studying for my actuarial exams I would get other compensation in the
form of paying for my study manuals paying my exam fees and giving me
study days these are huge perks because the manuals the exam fees are not cheap
and having time to study it’s just such a luxury I know people in other
professions who work for companies who just don’t give them the time off to
study and so they have to sort of work around their work schedule to try to
find time to study if you can find a company that will pay you to study this
like really helpful now that I’m done with my exams my company will pay my
CAS membership dues my company also will pay for me to go to CAS conferences
these are conferences put on by the Casualty Actuarial Society to help you
get your continuing education credits to help you mingle with other actuaries
just to have a good actuarial jolly old time I don’t know what their goals are
but that’s my get out of it the continuing education and the mingling
and the fun leave your actuary questions in the
comments down below and if you like this video please give it a thumbs up
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