Similar Professions to those of Actuaries
There are many other professions that have job responsibilities similar to those of actuaries. Actuaries are mainly involved in risk assessment and prediction of future events. Though those professionals might not be called by the same name, they are also doing similar kind of tasks. Some examples are cost estimators, budget analysts, auditors and accountants, financial analysts, economists, insurance underwriters, mathematicians, statisticians, personal finance advisors etc.
Cost estimators gather and scrutinize data to calculate different resources required for the smooth functioning of the organization. For example, in case of a manufacturing company, cost estimator has to calculate time, money, raw materials, machineries, labor etc required for production, distribution etc. The resources and activities vary from industry to industry. They might have to discuss with industry experts to decide resources. They would have to prepare technical documents for estimates, resources etc. They might have to use computer applications in different stages and evaluate cost effectiveness or profitability of products.
Budget analysts would be responsible for developing budget of organizations after discussing with project managers. As part of this, they need to review budget proposals from different department managers and consolidate those together to make organizational budget. They need to make sure that the consolidated budget is accurate, complete and in compliance with laws and regulations. They need to foresee future financial needs and regularly monitor financial activities to make sure that organization spends within budget. They should inform managers about the availability and status of funds.
Auditors and accountants are responsible for the financial transactions of an organization. They examine financial transactions and prepare financial records. They keep all records accurately and ensure that taxes are paid correctly and timely. There could be additional responsibilities for them based on the industry or organization they work for. They might to have meet clients and high level managers to explain them regarding financial condition of the organization. They might have to sometimes participate in risk management, assurance services etc similar to actuaries. In short, accountants and auditors help organizations to ensure that they run smoothly and profitably.
Financial analysts help individuals and organizations make wise investment decisions. Portfolio management is an important responsibility of financial analyst. He might need to assess current and historical data and also study about business and economic trends. He will collect detailed financial information on different organizations to decide the status and value of companies. This information would be used in the best possible way while recommending investment options to clients. Financial analysts have a major role in companies that make huge investments; these companies are known as institutional investors. Personal finance advisors also have a similar job profile of financial analysts.
Economists research and analyze different economic issues and trends to help individuals or organizations in their economic decisions. They use methods like surveys in order to collect data and use statistical methods to analyze those data. They also interpret and forecast economic trends using historical data and the data they collected. They need to prepare presentations that include charts, tables, graphs etc so as to make their clients easily understand their findings.
Insurance underwriters have very similar responsibilities to that of actuaries, though they are doing only a part of what actuaries do. They analyze historical data to decide premiums and coverage amounts. They also decide the risk of insuring a client by checking different factors like job profile, qualification etc of the client and recommendations from underwriting software. They decide whether to offer insurance or not based on this analysis.
Mathematicians and statisticians use existing mathematical techniques to interpret data and even develop new mathematical principles to solve real time problems. In short, an actuary takes up some of many of the responsibilities of all the professions mentioned above.