The SOA at Work

The SOA at Work Career Survey: Salary and Job Title Key Impacts to Satisfaction

Income and job title may be the strongest predictors of job satisfaction for actuaries, according to a benchmark SOA–sponsored survey on Career Satisfaction and Advancement. The survey, conducted last fall via (the SOA–sponsored research site), asked participants about topics ranging from their current job situation, employer and professional aspirations to job satisfaction, career advancement activities and training received via various resources. Almost 1,000 actuaries participated in the survey, ranking their job satisfaction an average of 7.2 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent.

Other predictors of job satisfaction included the type of industry (with investment banking and software ranking high) and employment arrangement (self–employed actuaries are more satisfied than those who work for organizations). Some of the factors that positively impact satisfaction include feeling valued, respected and recognized and having good relationships with fellow employees.

Thirty–eight percent of respondents had been in their position for less than three years with an equal number having served in the same position for six years or more. And, when it comes to professional aspirations, 27 percent reported being at the highest professional level to which they aspire and 40 percent said they would like to make a career move within the next two years. Twenty percent of participants said they are not interested in changing jobs at present.

The survey results showed that actuaries view employers as the greatest resource for career advancement support with 33 percent of participants agreeing that the SOA should offer additional career advancement support to members, especially in the area of guidance for key competencies needed to reach particular career levels. (The SOA's Marketplace Relevance Strategic Action Team is working to meet this need through the creation of the Actuarial Value Ladder, a tool created to assist actuaries with career planning and development.) was launched in June 2006 and now has more than 3,000 registrants who take part in a variety of surveys. To be eligible to participate in important upcoming surveys, please go to and register.

The Actuarial Profession in the News

Learn more about these news items by going to and clicking on "Buzzworthy."

Towers Perrin Appoints FSA to Chief Operating Officer Position

Towers Perrin named Robert G. Hogan, who has been with the company since 1979, as the new COO. He previously served as managing director of HR Services and served at the company in a number of leadership positions.

Washington Post, Pension and Investments Recognize Actuaries as Thought Leaders in Recent Articles

Media outreach, part of the marketing and market development plan, has been generating substantial visibility for the profession on the "Retirement 20/20" program, a strategic initiative of the SOA (with leadership from the Pension Section.) That outreach landed an article on retirement investing that appeared in May in the Washington Post, as well as a late–April article in Pension and Investments. The Post column explained the retirement issues being reviewed by the Retirement 20/20 group and potential solutions. The Pensions article featured FSA Emily Kessler discussing insights from the Retirement 20/20 project and the recently released Retirement 20/20 report. Both pieces advanced the brand message that actuaries are providing thought leadership on business and social issues.

2007 SOA Educational Opportunities

September 3–7
Asset Liability Management

September 12
EAS Business Building Webcast Series
Part 4: Overcome Fear of Making Sales Calls–Mastering the Psychology of Sales

September 17–18
Valuation Actuary Symposium
Austin, Texas

September 20–21
Individual and Small Group
Health Insurance Underwriting
Raleigh, N.C.

September 24–26
2007 Critical Illness Conference
San Antonio, Texas

September 26–28
DI and LTC Insurers' Forum
San Antonio, Texas

October 1–2
Third Annual Equity–Based
Insurance Guarantees Conference
Raleigh, N.C.

October 14–17
SOA '07 Annual Meeting & Exhibit
Washington, D.C.