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An Actuary’s Most Frequently Asked Questions

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What does the job market look like for mid-career actuaries?
The market is strong for mid-career candidates, especially those with 3 to 15 years of experience. These actuaries tend to have more options and opportunities than those who are more junior or very experienced (and therefore high-salaried).

What is the likelihood I can find a new actuary job within the next 2-3 months, based upon my level and the marketplace?
There are many variables that affect a job search. However, if you’re a strong mid-career candidate—and you’re flexible on location—we can usually find you an opportunity within 90 days.

What is a competitive actuary salary?
Salaries vary by industry and years of experience. See our Salary Survey for specific numbers.

How large of a salary increase will I receive at a new actuary job?
In a tight job market, increases can range from 5-8%. In a healthy market, increases may go as high as 12%, depending on a candidate’s experience and the company that’s hiring them.

Are signing bonuses as typical as they once were?
Signing bonuses are usually offered either to assist with relocation or to give a one-time increase when internal policies prevent the company from offering a higher salary. They are still common, but not as prevalent as in years past.

Is vacation time negotiable?
Some companies have a strict vacation policy and are not willing to negotiate time off. But for most employers, paid time off is part of the negotiation with a prospective employee and they may be willing to offer additional days.

Can I work remotely?
Remote work is rapidly becoming the “norm” in the actuary field, and many employers will allow for at least one day per week to be worked from home. Some companies have more flexibility than others, and policies often vary based on your level of experience and job duties.

How easy is it to transition into a completely different line of business?
It is not easy to transition to another area of the actuary business. Unfortunately, candidates without specific experience are often viewed as entry-level in the new area, requiring retraining and education. So to make that switch, a candidate must be willing to take a “step down” in compensation and responsibilities and then prove themselves in a new sector of the business. It’s possible for a strong, unique candidate to make the case for a lateral move to a new employer, but it is not commonplace among the companies that we work with.