Classroom to Credentials: Destination FCAS
Candidates must complete a series of requirements before becoming a member of the CAS. The required examinations and courses will lead candidates to CAS membership certification and ultimately to the highly coveted FCAS designation.
Coursework and Classroom
To become a CAS member and join the consistently ranked top profession, students must pass a series of exams to become certified professionals. A property and casualty actuary typically has an undergraduate degree concentrated in mathematics, statistics, business, or actuarial science.
Students often take additional classes in computer science and are encouraged to hone their communications skills in writing and public speaking to eventually prepare for entry into the business world.
Students are also strongly encouraged to secure internships for real-world experience while they are enrolled in school. It is common for internship employers to hire high performing interns into full-time jobs after they graduate.
There are a number of other websites that students can visit to search for internships in the actuarial career field. Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), the international risk management, insurance and actuarial science collegiate fraternity, recently launched a website with a comprehensive Career Resources section featuring insurance industry internships in its career center.
The MyPath website is another great resource; it is a collaborative, industry-wide initiative, powered by The Institutes, that is dedicated to educating students and young professionals about the insurance industry and its limitless career opportunities. Students can search for actuarial internships among the other insurance industry internships posted on this website.
CAS Membership Certification
The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) certifies actuaries who work in the property and casualty field including automobile, homeowners, medical malpractice, and workers compensation insurance. CAS sponsors three membership designations: Associate (ACAS), Fellow (FCAS) and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). Students typically take two or three exams while enrolled in undergraduate studies. Upon full-time employment following graduation, employers support their actuaries throughout the remainder of the certification process, assuming the expense of exams and study materials.
To reach the ACAS designation, which typically takes four to six years, candidates must complete the following requirements:
Validation by Educational Experience (VEE):
- VEE-Corporate Finance
VEE-Applied Statistical Methods*
*Only required for candidates that took LC and/or ST prior to Fall 2015. Beginning in Fall 2015, Exam S replaces this VEE Requirement.
CAS Online Courses:
- Risk Management and Insurance Operations
- Insurance Accounting, Coverage Analysis, Insurance Law and Insurance Regulation
- Course on Professionalism
In addition, candidates must pass or receive credit for a series of examinations:
- Exam 1 – Probability (credit received through SOA Exam P)
- Exam 2 – Financial Mathematics (credit received through SOA Exam FM)
- Exam 3F – Models for Financial Economics (credit received through SOA Exam MFE)
- Exam LC – Models for Life Contingencies**
- Exam ST – Models for Stochastic Processes and Statistics**
Exam 4 – Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models (credit received through SOA Exam C)
**Exams offered through Spring 2015. However, transition rules allow candidates with credit for either Exam ST or LC to take the exam required to obtain credit for a new Associate Exam, Exam S, by Spring 2016.
- Exam S – Statistics and Probabilistic Models***
- Exam 5 – Basic Techniques for Ratemaking and Estimating Claim Liabilities
Exam 6 – Regulation and Financial Reporting (Nation-Specific)
- Actuarial Institute of Chinese Taipei
- United States
***New exam offered beginning in Fall 2015 replacing Exams LC, ST, and VEE-Applied Statistical Methods.
To reach the FCAS designation, which takes another two to three years after becoming an ACAS, candidates must complete all ACAS requirements, in addition to Fellow Exams.
- Exam 7 – Estimation of Policy Liabilities, Insurance Company Valuation and Enterprise Risk Management
- Exam 8 – Advanced Ratemaking
- Exam 9 – Financial Risk and Rate of Return
To achieve the CERA designation, candidates must complete:
- All requirements for CAS Associateship
- CAS Exams 7 and 9
- Exam ST9, Enterprise Risk Management Specialist Technical of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (U.K.)
- Three-day Enterprise Risk Management and Modeling Seminar for CERA Qualification
View the CAS Syllabus of Basic Education for all of the details on the CAS certification process, such as how to register for CAS exams.
Course on Professionalism
Candidates are also required to take a course on professionalism. Coursework is designed to present candidates with real situations that contain ethical and professional issues for the actuary. Volunteer members of the CAS facilitate small group discussions of actual case studies. Candidates must actively participate in order to receive credit. Successful completion of this course is required before a candidate can become a member of the Casualty Actuarial Society. Learn more.
Like many societies, the CAS has continuing education requirements with many actuaries meeting these requirements by attending seminars offered by the CAS and its regional affiliates.
Equipped with the hard-earned knowledge and credentials earned from rigorous studies and certification, property and casualty actuaries with CAS credentials face a promising future ahead. Based on job performance and number of actuarial exams passed, property and casualty actuaries can rise through the ranks of their profession and assume supervisory responsibilities, provide key advice to senior leaders and rise to positions in the C-suite such as chief financial or risk officer.