What is the average actuary salary?

by | Published on Mar 18, 2023 | Last Updated on Sep 3, 2023 | Compensation

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So what does an actuary make? The average actuary salary depends on several factors, such as experience, field, job location, and more. Generally speaking, the median salary for an actuary in the United States is around $101,560 per year. This figure is based on salaries collected from over 5,000 actuaries employed in the country.

Actuaries with more experience and specialized skills often command higher salaries; the top 10% of actuaries earn an average of $165,860 annually. Salaries also vary by region; for example, those working in California tend to earn more than those in other parts of the country.

Compensation can vary according to industry, with some companies offering bonuses and other benefits to attract top actuarial talent.

Do Actuaries get compensated well?

Actuaries do get compensated well, with the highest level of compensation reaching up to $111,030 per year in May 2020. They also typically earn $49.88 per hour, making it a highly lucrative career choice. This is especially true for actuaries who work for insurance brokerage companies; with one report showing they make around $112,800 per year.

However, the same report also showed that those who work for general companies tend to make significantly less. Furthermore, the report showed that the amount of money actuary jobs earn is heavily dependent upon experience, skills, and educational background.

Candidates with a specialized degree or advanced certificates have access to more opportunities and can bring in even more money than what was mentioned above.

In addition to the monetary rewards of being an actuary, they also get access to job security and excellent job growth opportunities.

Working as an actuary is one of the most stable jobs out there since companies need to rely on actuarial assessments to make important decisions.

Statistics show that this profession also comes with a high level of job satisfaction as those in this field can enjoy intellectual challenges and highly rewarding work experiences.

Average Salary in Actuarial Science by Education

The average pay in actuarial science by education varies depending on the level of expertise, experience, and employer.

A person with a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science can earn an average annual salary of $55,000. This amount typically increases with higher levels of education such as a master’s degree or doctorate.

Those with a professional certification in actuarial science, such as an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or Fellow of the SOA, can earn a higher salary than those without a formal education.

Overall, actuaries in the United States earn an average of $111,030 per year. This amount can vary significantly depending on the level of expertise, education (bachelor’s degree or higher), experience, as well as the industry they work in.

Those who are highly experienced and certified in their field can expect to make a higher salary than those who are just starting. This field is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, so salaries for actuaries should also increase over time.

Those interested in a job as an actuary can look forward to a lucrative and financially rewarding future.

Where Should I Work as an Actuary?

Actuaries play an important role in the insurance, banking, and other financial services industries, and they can find job opportunities in a wide range of organizations.

Actuaries are often employed by life and health insurance companies to analyze risk within their portfolios; they may also be employed by property insurers, investment banks, consulting firms, and other businesses.

Actuaries with skills in analysis background may find opportunities in the government sector, such as for the Department of Health & Human Services or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Additionally, actuaries are frequently employed by large public accounting firms and consulting organizations to provide their expertise on complex financial matters.

No matter where they work, the salary of an actuary is usually quite competitive. To ensure they remain competitive within the job market, actuaries should stay up to date on certifications and industry developments.

Actuaries who are certified by professional associations such as the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) can command higher pay than those without these credentials.

Actuarial exams are professional exams taken by individuals who aspire to become actuaries. The exams are administered by the SOA and CAS. These exams cover a wide range of topics related to risk management, finance, statistics, probability, and economics.

Many employers offer attractive pay, bonuses, and incentive packages to attract the best employees.

What type of actuaries get paid the most?

Actuarial science is a field with numerous and varied career paths, all of which come with different salary expectations.

The actuary’s salary depends on the type of work they do, their level of education and experience, and their certification status.

Typically, those with higher levels of education or certifications are paid the most.

Actuaries are professionals who specialize in analyzing and managing financial risk. They use their expertise to assess the probability of certain outcomes, such as insurance claims or investment returns and advise clients on how to prepare for them.

Actuaries come from various fields of study and can specialize in a range of areas. Here are some of the most well-paid actuaries in the top industries.

Pension Actuaries

A pension actuary is an expert in corporate retirement plans. A pension actuary’s job is to ensure that a company’s pension plans meet the standards set by the government and remain solvent over time.

A pension actuary analyzes, designs, and manages pension plans for employers. A pension actuary uses their expertise to recommend options and strategies for improving the efficiency of the pension plan.

A pension actuary can earn a salary that ranges from $100,000 to more than $200,000 per year.

Enterprise Risk Actuary

An enterprise risk actuary is responsible for assessing and managing a company’s overall business risks.

They are experts on everything from market trends to operational hazards and use their knowledge to advise organizations on how to manage these risks most effectively.

Enterprise risk actuaries typically earn an average of $150,000 to more than $200,000.

Medical Actuary

Medical actuaries specialize in the healthcare industry and analyze data related to health insurance plans.

They are responsible for selecting policies with prices that accurately reflect their level of risk and help employers save money on healthcare costs.

Medical actuaries typically earn an average of $115,000 to more than $175,000 per year.

So how much does an actuary make working in one of these jobs?

While all actuaries are well paid for their expertise, the job outlook for those with higher levels of education, such as a bachelor’s degree or higher, greater technical skills, or certifications tends to be the best and commands the highest salary.

Depending on the area they specialize in, salaries for these jobs can range from $100,000 to over $200,000 per year.

How much do other actuaries typically make?

General Insurance

An actuary with a job at a general insurance company typically earns a salary of around $120,000 – $180,000 per year. Many companies also have an actuarial team.

An actuarial team is a group of professionals that specialize in analyzing and assessing the financial risk associated with providing insurance coverage. They are trained to use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to determine future events, such as mortality rates and accident probabilities.

Property and Casualty Insurance

Actuaries working in property and casualty insurance with a strong background in analyzing data and assessing their own risk associated with providing coverage can earn a salary anywhere from $100,000 to more than $200,000 per year.

Consulting and Federal Government Agencies

Actuaries working for consulting firms or federal government agencies typically earn a salary of around $90,000 – $145,000.

States With the Highest Pay

The states with the highest salary average for actuaries are generally those with a large insurance or financial industry.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York, California, New Jersey, and Illinois have some of the highest pay for actuaries in the United States.

New York

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average for an actuary in New York is $128,770.


According to data from the BLS, the average for an actuary in California is $113,870.

New Jersey

According to data from the BLS, the average for an actuary in New Jersey is $115,770.


The top ten percent of actuaries working in Illinois earned an average of $167,620.

Overall, an actuary salary is a competitive salary that allows professionals to command higher earnings than their peers in similar jobs.

Best-Paying Cities for Actuaries

The cities that offer the highest salaries and the most job opportunities for actuaries are typically those with a strong financial and insurance industry in metropolitan areas that generally have a higher cost of living.

In the United States, some of the best-paying cities for a job in actuarial science are New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

New York City

Actuaries in NYC can earn an average of $128,770.

San Francisco

San Francisco pays an average of $113,860.


Chicago provides an average of $110,120.

Los Angeles

Actuaries in Los Angeles received an average of $109,630.

Statistical Data on other high-paying areas

In addition to the cities above, some other high-paying metropolitan areas for actuaries include Seattle, Washington, D.C.; and Boston.

Job seekers willing to relocate to these cities can expect to earn an average salary of $107,400, $106,500, and $102,790 respectively.

Job Outlook

Hiring trends point to strong employment growth for actuaries over the next few years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth of actuaries is expected to increase by 20% from 2019 to 2029. This job growth is much faster than the average for all similar jobs, and job prospects should be excellent for qualified actuaries.

A company may offer generous benefits packages including health insurance, vacation time, retirement plans, and more.

Actuarial science jobs offer a lucrative career path that provides more actuaries with strong earning potential and long-term job security.

Other factors such as an advanced degree, certification, or experience, can help easily earn high salaries in the six figures and beyond.

Those who pursue a job as an actuary in metropolitan areas with a robust insurance or financial industry can expect to earn even higher salaries.

Finally, hiring trends remain strong, making this job field an excellent choice for those seeking a stable and well-paying career.