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Actuaries help organizations or individuals manage and monitor risk. They do this by evaluating the likelihood of future events. They design creative ways to assess the potential for undesirable events and their impact if they occur. They may evaluate uncertainties associated with life or property. They also may assess risk in the context of casualty insurance, annuities, social security, worker’s compensation, pension, or other employee benefit plans.

  • Avg. Salary $84,266.00
  • Avg. Wage $44.68
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Actuaries (2161.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries (C061) 
  • 2011 NOC: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries (2161) 
  • 2016 NOC: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries (2161) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Actuary is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in synthesizing information to design life, health, and property insurance policies through research


Interest in preparing records on mortality, sickness, accident, disability and retirement based on research and analysis of statistical, economic and other data


Interest in consulting to provide legal evidence on the value of future earnings, and to assist investment fund managers in portfolio asset allocation decisions and risk management; may supervise the activities of workers engaged in preparing and processing contracts and insurance, annuity and pension policies

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2020

Much of life is uncertain. It involves risks, such as sickness, disability, job loss, property damage or loss, or unforeseen death. No one can predict the chance of these risks for any one individual. However, actuaries use their specialized knowledge of finance, statistics, and risk theory to calculate probabilities. For example, they may measure the likelihood of certain events occurring in the future within defined groups. With that information, they can help design programs to mitigate (reduce damage from) risks.

In insurance companies, actuaries take part in almost every aspect of the business. This includes:

  • Developing new products and services
  • Setting premiums
  • Monitoring profitability
  • Valuating appropriate reserve levels
  • Performing management and administrative tasks

In other settings, actuaries provide a wide variety of services. For example, they may:

  • Help employers, labour unions, and trustees design, fund, and administer private pension plans and other employee benefits
  • Specialize in probabilities of loss arising from sickness or disability, or damages caused by fire, theft, windstorm, or accidents
  • Appear as expert witnesses in court proceedings on issues such as lost future earnings
  • Help sponsors of benefit plans to optimize their investment returns based on the nature of the liabilities and the organization’s risk tolerance
  • Improve medical insurance plans by showing how preventive treatments or new drugs may create long-term savings or how
  • Advise companies on how to set up trust funds to cover anticipated expenses
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Although actuaries work in offices with standard office hours, longer hours do happen. Some travel may be required for business meetings and conferences.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Actuaries need:

  • An interest in and aptitude for mathematics
  • Creativity and a capacity for innovative problem solving
  • Communication skills and business sense
  • The ability to work with a wide variety of people

They should enjoy synthesizing information, solving problems, and taking a methodical approach to their work. They should be comfortable making decisions and working closely with colleagues and clients.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Most actuaries have a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics, or statistics. For information about degree programs in mathematics and statistics, see the Mathematician and Statistician occupational profiles.

Some Canadian universities offer courses in actuarial science that help students prepare for professional exams.

To become a qualified actuary in Canada, candidates need related education and experience. They also must pass a series of qualifying exams and other requirements. A solid background in math is important. Courses in the following subject areas are an asset:

  • Actuarial science
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Commerce
  • Accounting
  • Business administration
  • Finance
  • Computer science
  • Marketing

Students are encouraged to complete economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics course requirements and write some preliminary exams while still at university. Credit for preliminary exams may be obtained at accredited universities. This is an asset when seeking work as an actuary and counts toward the education requirement. Although most employers give actuarial students some time to study during working hours, students generally have to study on their own time as well.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Concordia University of Edmonton

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) offers designations, which include Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (ACIA) and Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA). Some of the requirements for enrolment may be completed by taking examinations offered through the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. University students who take courses at accredited universities may apply to the CIA for credit for some of the preliminary exams.

Other requirements include professional experience and continuing professional development. Candidates working toward Fellowship need to enrol as an Associate of the CIA while accruing Canadian-specific professional experience.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Actuaries may work on a salaried or contract basis. They may work for:

  • Banks
  • Consulting firms
  • Government departments
  • Large corporations
  • Life insurance companies
  • Property or casualty insurance companies
  • Reinsurance companies
  • Universities

There is an increasing demand for actuaries in non-traditional roles. These include compensation consulting, workers’ compensation, health care management, financial planning, investments, environmental liability, enterprise risk management, human resources, and information systems.

Experienced actuaries may advance to senior management positions.

Actuaries are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2161: Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 2161: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 10% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 20 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Salaries vary depending on the actuary’s qualifications, location, work experience, and type of employer.

Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $31.28 $48.08 $36.18 $35.83
Overall $34.99 $61.05 $44.68 $42.53
Top $40.63 $63.82 $49.16 $50.38

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Mathematics
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Be An Actuary website:

Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) website:

Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) website:

Society of Actuaries (SOA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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