Actuarial Mathematics at Auburn

The Actuarial Mathematics program within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Auburn University offers a well-balanced curriculum in applied mathematics with advanced preparation for the actuarial profession. It boasts a dedicated group of faculty experienced in passing actuarial exams offered by the professional societies and recognized by the insurance industry. Auburn University is accredited by the Society of Actuaries to offer courses to satisfy the Validation by Education Experience (VEE) requirements in Applied Statistical Methods, Corporate Finance, and Economics.

What is an Actuary?

Actuaries bring a complex future into focus by applying unique insight to risk and opportunity. Known for their comprehensive approach, actuaries enable smart, more confident decisions.

Where do actuaries manage risk?

At this time, the majority of actuaries work in careers that are associated with the insurance industry, though growing numbers work in other fields. They are heavily involved in insurance because that is society's most powerful answer for managing risk. We reduce our risk of financial loss by transferring it to an insurance company that accepts the risk for a price (which is the insurance premium). Actuaries play a key role in designing insurance plans, determining the premium, monitoring the profitability of insurance companies, and recommending corrective action when appropriate.

Actuaries working in insurance companies also ensure that insurance companies have set aside enough funds to pay claims and provide advice on how to invest the insurance companies' assets. Actuaries work in all sectors of the economy, though they are more heavily represented in the financial services sector, including insurance companies, commercial banks, investment banks and retirement funds. They are employed by corporations as well as the state and federal government. Many work for consulting firms. Some are self-employed, enjoying financially rewarding careers that also come with the great flexibility of being one's own boss.

In addition to the financial services market, actuaries are increasingly working in the broader energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare industries, helping identify, measure and manage risks and opportunities within complex, risk-bearing enterprises.

Employers of Actuaries

  • Insurance companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Government insurance departments
  • Banks and investment firms
  • Large corporations
  • Public accounting firms
  • Colleges and universities

Needed Skills

  • Mathematics
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Interest in financial and business applications
  • Computer proficiency
  • Solid communications skills

Actuarial Exams

Actuaries in the U.S. and Canada achieve professional status by passing a set of examinations prescribed by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA). Many prospective actuaries begin taking exams while in college and Auburn University offers courses with syllabi that closely match those for exams P/1, FM/2, and MLC/3 as well as two seminars designed specifically to prepare students to take exams P/1 and FM/2. According to research conducted by the SOA in the past few years, the recognition of actuarial credentials was very high among employers in insurance, reinsurance and consulting markets.

Last updated: 11/19/2014