Actuarial Science
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Overview
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Actuarial science is a program that focuses on the mathematical and statistical analysis of risk, and their applications to insurance and other business management problems. includes instruction in forecasting theory, quantitative and non-quantitative risk measurement methodologies, development of risk tables, secondary data analysis, and computer-assisted research methods.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in actuarial science at each level last year.
05001K2K2K3K0-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year CertificateBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's Degree
People with this bachelor's degree have gone to work in these careers
ActuariesFirst-line supervisors of non-...Management analystsComputer systems analystsAccountants and auditorsManagers (specialized areas)Financial managersClaims adjusters and insurance...Insurance underwritersPersonal financial advisorsPostsecondary teachersMathematicians and statisticia...Chief executives and legislato...Financial analystsCompensation, benefits, and jo...Elementary and middle school t...Insurance sales agents
Actuarial Science majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all actuarial science graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 95% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a higher percentage of graduates than in 75% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in actuarial science earned in the last academic year, 42% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a lower percentage of women than 63% of other programs.
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Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in actuarial science.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in actuarial science have a median salary of $79,922.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 23% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 22% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
All of the following employment data applies to people holding a bachelor's degree in actuarial science.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 3.0%, this degree's majors are in about the middle of all fields's bachelor's graduates in their ability to find a job.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 4% of workers who earned a bachelor's in actuarial science are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science, perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
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Similar programs
Following are related programs, ordered by those with the highest number of completions. You can explore a full list in the last section for programs below.
Staring Salaries and College Debt by Award
How are students who recently completed a degree in Actuarial Science doing?

New data from College Scorecard gives us a glimpse into the earnings and debt for recent graduates in their first year or two after leaving school. Shown is the distribution of the medians reported for all schools with graduates in the given program/award level.

Starting salaries by award level
$52K$84K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KMaster's DegreeBachelor's Degree
Median cumulative federal loan amount
$22K$38K$0$20K$40K$60KMaster's DegreeBachelor's Degree
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Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data applies to people with a bachelor's degree in actuarial science
Employment overview
Percentage of actuarial science bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in actuarial science lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage actuarial science majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 15.0% of actuarial science graduates are currently not working. However, only 3.0% are classified as "unemployed," while 12.0% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

85%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether actuarial science majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

3.0%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for actuarial science majors

How does the median (middle) salary for actuarial science majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$79,922$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for actuarial science majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$82K$95K$79K$33K$61K$80K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KPrivate for-profit (83.0% )Self Emp. Incoporated (2.1% )Private not-for-profit (5.7% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (2.2% )Local government (2.1% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for actuarial science majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in actuarial science. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (65%)
Women (35%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that actuarial science has more men than most other degrees.

35%65%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of actuarial science majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries. We calculate this distribution for almost 1000 programs, and this is one of only 9 progams for which the median women's salary was higher than the median men's salary.

$83K$79K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of actuarial science bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in actuarial science can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for actuarial science graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$118K$106K$105K$75K$113K$94K$92K$42K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3K4KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can actuarial science majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for actuarial science majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all actuarial science completions reported last year, 97% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 26% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in actuarial science
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in actuarial science today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in actuarial science when in college.

We know that about 23% actuarial science majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of actuarial science majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: actuarial science majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 23% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in actuarial science, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in actuarial science by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$78K$155K$94K$113K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

22%46%100%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for actuarial science majors
Careers for actuarial science majors

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in actuarial science, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in actuarial science. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
**Actuaries
$0$200K$94K
32.4%
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
$0$200K$60K
4.5%
Management analysts
$0$200K$78K
4.3%
Computer systems analysts
$0$200K$77K
4.2%
Accountants and auditors
$0$200K$61K
3.6%
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$73K
3.4%
Financial managers
$0$200K$70K
3.3%
Claims adjusters and insurance appraisers
$0$200K$53K
2.6%
**Insurance underwriters
$0$200K$60K
2.2%
Personal financial advisors
$0$200K$73K
2.1%
**Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$63K
1.9%
Mathematicians and statisticians
$0$200K$78K
1.4%
Chief executives and legislators
$0$200K$96K
1.4%
Financial analysts
$0$200K$78K
1.4%
Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists
$0$200K$52K
1.2%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$52K
1.2%
Insurance sales agents
$0$200K$47K
1.1%
Applications and systems software developers
$0$200K$97K
0.9%
Human resources workers
$0$200K$55K
0.9%
Market research analysts and marketing specialists
$0$200K$64K
0.8%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten actuarial science careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by actuarial science graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

MathematicsActuarial ScienceEconomicsStatistics and Decision ScienceGeneral BusinessFinanceApplied MathematicsBusiness Management and AdministrationComputer SciencePhysicsAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentMarketingGeneral Computer and Information SystemsManagement Information Systems and StatisticsCommunicationsHistoryEnglish Language and LiteratureCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionActuariesManagers (specializedareas)Computer systems analystsManagement analystsFirst-line supervisors ofnon-retail sales workersFinancial managersAccountants and auditorsPersonal financial advisorsClaims adjusters andinsurance appraisersInsurance underwritersAll othersThis degreeTop 10 CareersTop 10 degrees hired
Jobs that choose actuarial science majors
What careers hire actuarial science majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have actuarial science as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of actuarial science majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

ActuariesAll other careersActuarial ScienceAll other degreesCareers where this degree is a top 10 hireDegree
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer actuarial science degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
Graduate program details
Explore actuarial science graduate program details

Many schools provide information to Peterson's about their graduate programs, and Ididio has licensed that data to share with you. The data is reported by program name and subject, and we have worked to match that data with the standard "CIP" titles that are the basis of these program pages. Please be aware that only a subset of all possible graduate programs share the details about financial support and admissions numbers with Peterson's. To see a complete list of schools who have graduated students with this degree, the previous section is much more reliable; however, this is a great place to look for a hint of schools that may offer financial support. You can see more details about each school's graduate programs in the Programs Offered section within that school's Ididio page.

Filter Schools
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Program
State
Total applicants
Percentage Admitted
Application Fee
Grad students with aid
Ball State University
Program in Actuarial Science (Master of Arts)
IN
33
82%
$60
Columbia University in the City of New York
Program in Actuarial Science (Master of Science)
NY
77
60%
$50
Georgia State University
Program in Actuarial Science (Master of Actuarial Science)
GA
$50
Explore similar programs

Actuarial Science is part of a larger collection of programs: Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences. Is there a different program that's close to Actuarial Science that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
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