The job position of actuary is not one that is commonplace to hear, but it is in reality one of the best jobs to have in terms of salary, job environment and employment outlook. It is not the job for everyone, but if numbers crunching and analyzing data bring a song to the heart, an actuary job may be the dream position.

For those who may be puzzled with the title of actuary and what the position entails, you are not alone. Actuaries examine the price tag of risk and ambiguity; they use statistics, math and financial systems to calculate the risk that an occurrence may transpire, and they help individuals and companies cultivate policies that decrease the cost of that risk. Insurance companies frequently hire actuaries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, employment of actuaries is anticipated to grow 26 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than many other occupations. This increase stems from the need for professionals to cultivate, price and assess a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new risks, which actuaries are trained to do.

Actuaries need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, and there are a series of exams that must be passed to become certified. These exams are offered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The requirements take approximately six to eight years to complete, so commitment is a must. Math, business and financial aptitude are also very important to succeed in this career. But the actuary position is one that is not easy to fill, so often employers will offer financial support by paying for the exams.

The pay for actuaries is highly respectable, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor; the average annual wage for actuaries was $93,680 in May 2012. This often overlooked position is one to highly consider.

Chicago is a city with a plethora of insurance companies both large and small, so the need for actuaries is great; for those who would enjoy this career, it is one of the most secure and well-paying jobs in the United States.

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.