Actuaries are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, actuaries rate their career happiness 2.5 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 5% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy actuaries are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Tax preparer
2.7
$46k
Credit counselor
2.6
$48k
Credit analyst
2.6
$77k
Customs broker
2.6
$75k
Accountant
2.6
$77k
Actuary
2.5
$106k
Financial clerk
2.5
$46k
Loan officer
2.5
$63k
Teller
2.5
$36k
Auditor
2.5
$77k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are actuaries happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do actuaries find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as actuaries?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are actuary’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are actuaries making the best use of their abilities?

Are actuaries happy with their salary?

Actuaries rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.8/5. The majority of actuaries are quite happy with their salaries, with very few having complaints about their income level.

We asked actuaries how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.8 out of 5 stars

249 actuaries

5 Star
30%

30% of actuaries rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
38%

38% of actuaries rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
23%

23% of actuaries rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
6%

6% of actuaries rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
4%

4% of actuaries rated their compensation 1 stars

Do actuaries find their jobs meaningful?

On average, actuaries rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.1/5. The majority of actuaries struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked actuaries how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.1 out of 5 stars

250 actuaries

5 Star
4%

4% of actuaries rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
11%

11% of actuaries rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
18%

18% of actuaries rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
32%

32% of actuaries rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
36%

36% of actuaries rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as actuaries?

Actuaries rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.4/5. The majority of actuaries don’t see personality fit as a hinderence in their career.

We asked actuaries how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.4 out of 5 stars

264 actuaries

5 Star
17%

17% of actuaries rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
31%

31% of actuaries rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
28%

28% of actuaries rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of actuaries rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
6%

6% of actuaries rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is an actuary’s work environment?

As a whole, actuaries rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.3/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked actuaries how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.3 out of 5 stars

264 actuaries

5 Star
18%

18% of actuaries rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
29%

29% of actuaries rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
24%

24% of actuaries rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
21%

21% of actuaries rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
9%

9% of actuaries rated their work environment 1 stars

Are actuaries making the best use of their abilities?

Former actuaries on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.9/5. Actuaries tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked actuaries how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.9 out of 5 stars

265 actuaries

5 Star
13%

13% of actuaries rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
18%

18% of actuaries rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
28%

28% of actuaries rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
27%

27% of actuaries rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
13%

13% of actuaries rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars