Actuaries put price tags on risks. We calculate the costs of uncertain future events that range from tornados and hurricanes to changes in life expectancy. Actuarial work is the backbone not only of the insurance and financial security industries, but of government programs like Social Security and Medicare as well.
Actuaries, for example, are the ones that figure out the likelihood that an 18-year-old seeking auto insurance in rural Indiana will total her new Civic before she turns 21. We're the ones that calculate how far the worker-retiree balance can tip before Social Security runs out of money.
The actuarial profession has consistently received high ratings, as reported by US News and World Report, the Jobs Rated Report, CNN Money, and many others. It is not unlikely that you will see "Actuary" as a top job year after year since the career usually entails:
Many financial decisions depend on the insight of an actuary, making our work meaningful and satisfying.