S.T.E.M jobs of the week: Actuary and Statistician

 In S.T.E.M Careers

Have you ever heard of an actuary? Ever wondered exactly what a statistician does? Well, this week we will answer those questions and many others you may have.

When one thinks of an actuary or a statistician they often think of mathematics but these two careers are actually more associated with science than math. Both fields are categorized as sciences that apply math and data analysis to produce strategic methods for professional operations.

So, first off, what is an actuary? Great question! An actuary is a business professional who uses data to determine the amount of risk and uncertainty involved with how a company operates. The actuary also provides strategic solutions to minimize the effect it will have on the company. This profession is called actuarial science.

As stated before, actuaries primarily use mathematics, but they also use other tools such as economics, computer science, finance, and business. For this reason, actuaries are most notably associated with the insurance and reinsurance industries. Using their vast knowledge, actuaries help design and set the pricing for insurance policies, pension plans, and other financial needs to ensure that the plans are maintained on a sound financial foundation. Many are staffed employees while others operate as consultants. In addition to insurance companies, actuaries often work for businesses that sponsor pension plans as well as government agencies such as the Social Security Administration. To state it simply, actuaries put a price tag on risk.

Based in Washington D.C., the American Academy of Actuaries estimates that there are 18,500 + members within its association and that the employment of actuaries is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024. This rate is greater than the average of any other occupation.  Another professional organization for actuaries, The Society of Actuaries, boasts over 27,000 members. Having its roots traced back to 1889, its vision is for actuaries to be leaders in the measurement and management of risk, promoting research, high standards of competence and conduct and education.  The SOA provides information specifically for those thinking about becoming an actuary.

Now that we have briefly discussed what an actuary is, let us investigate statisticians and what do they do.

A statistician is a business professional that collects and analyzes data. They look for patterns that explain behavior or describe the world as it is. They also design and build models using the data they have collected. These models are then used to help understand the world and make predictions.

In order to perform their duties, statisticians use specialized statistical software to analyze data. By using this software, statisticians can identify trends and relationships within the data. To validate their findings, statisticians conduct tests to account for high survey non response rates or sampling errors. Which is to say, they make sure they’ve collected an accurate sampling of data prior to making their analyses. There are also statisticians who help create new software to analyze data more accurately and efficiently.

Although they are not mentioned among the most popular occupations, statisticians are associated with many aspects of our lives.

Government: Statisticians working in government develop and analyze surveys that collect a variety of data, including unemployment rates, wages, and other estimates pertaining to jobs and workers. Other areas where statisticians help are associated with environmental issues and population issues like figuring out the average level of pesticides in drinking water, the number of endangered species living in a particular area, or the number of people who have a certain disease.

Healthcare: Statisticians, also known as biostatisticians or biometricians, work in pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies, or hospitals. They may design studies to test whether drugs successfully treat diseases or medical conditions. They may also help identify the sources of outbreaks of illnesses in humans and animals.

Research and development: Statisticians design experiments for product testing and development. For example, they may help design experiments to see how well car engines perform when they are exposed to extreme weather conditions. They may also help develop marketing strategies and prices for consumer goods.

As of today, the American Statistical Association has 15,245 members listed. Founded in 1839, the ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians, the “Big Tent for Statistics.” It is the second-oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the demand for statisticians will grow at a rate of 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, resulting in 10,100 new jobs. This will most definitely increase the ASA’s membership.

At, we provide S.T.E.M. kits that inspire kid’s interest in data collection and problem solving. Below are few of our lively kits geared towards these fields.

Population Death Demographics Kit -. View kit .

Featuring 500 tiny tombstones, this kit mirrors actual population statistics with regard to the age and gender of members of a population at their death. This kit is a full classroom set.


Probability Kit – View kit 

This collection of kits is designed to create an open environment in which students can run a variety of probability exercises.


Animal Attributes Kit – View kit 

An elementary kit, introduce students to collecting, classifying, and representing data using this sample of animals found in the natural world. Compare the numbers of eyes, legs, and horns/antennae and graph this data by placing the animals on our provided templates.


Lionfish Sampling Kit – View kit 

Explore lionfish populations with this kit designed to replicate real-world problem solving and sampling. Containing fifty fish, each labeled with a habitat identifier and number to represent the population in millions, this kit integrates math concepts with ecology in a hands-on manner.

The complex fields of Actuary Science and Statistical Science are destined to continue being major contributors to the evolution of daily business practices. We at have taken notice and we are doing what is in our power to ensure that the demand for actuaries and statisticians will be met.

Actuary is #6 and Statistician is #1 on US News & World Report Top STEM Jobs of 2017

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