Actuary Ranks As Best Job

Compiled By Staff
January 6, 2010

A new study has concluded that being an actuary is the best job to have in 2010.

Reuters reports that according to's analysis of 200 jobs in North America, actuarial work ranks the highest because of its competitive pay, little stress and physical demands, good work environment and positive job outlook.

Actuaries typically work for insurance companies and use statistics and mathematics to evaluate risk. U.S. News & World Report, which included actuaries among its 50 best careers of 2010, notes that employment opportunities should increase rapidly for actuaries over the next ten years. According to the Labor Department, the average pay for actuaries stands at about $85,000, with the highest paid receiving over $160,000.

"If you enjoy and understand numbers, but also want to be involved in a fast-paced business environment, it's a perfect opportunity to merge those two interests," said Ryan McAllister, an actuary for Fireman's Fund Insurance Company in Novato, California, who was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

McAllister started his job in 2005 after graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in applied mathematics. Despite the recession, he told the Journal that his job prospects remain positive.

"If I were ever unhappy with my employer, I could pick up the phone and find something else very quickly," he was quoted as saying in the Journal.

Software engineers placed second on the list, followed by computer systems analysts, biologists and historians. also rated the worst jobs, which included roustabouts, lumberjacks, ironworkers, dairy farmers and welders. According to Tony Lee, publisher of's 2010 Jobs Rated Report, the worst jobs tend to require working outdoors regardless of the weather, involve danger and do not pay well.

"On top of that," said Lee, who was quoted by Reuters, "the job opportunities are not very good so if you really want one of these jobs, you may even have difficulty finding one despite the fact that they're dangerous, in bad conditions and don't pay very well."

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