The actuarial profession involves the application of mathematical disciplines, particularly probability, statistics, and risk theory, to real life financial problems involving future uncertainty.
The analysis involved helps people and organizations plan for and reduce financial risk in areas as diverse as life, health, disability, property and casualty insurance; annuities; pension plans; and employee benefit plans.
Qualification is achieved through successful completion of The Professional Examinations conducted by the Society of Actuaries (life, health & pension actuaries) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (property, marine and casualty actuaries). The first examinations test skills and knowledge that all actuaries must have, regardless of the field in which they choose to practice - later, candidates undertake practice-specific examinations. Completion of examinations combined with related professional development and training lead to two membership designations: Associate and Fellow. The Fellowship designation is the highest designation an actuary can receive in North America.