Actuaries work with companies and government departments, to help them forecast long-term financial costs and investment risks.
Salary Range: £30,000 to £70,000
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can get into this job by doing a degree and then joining an employer training scheme.
Most employers will look for a degree in maths or one that is closely related. For example:
- maths and statistics
- actuarial science
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to start by completing an actuarial technician higher apprenticeship or actuary degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
You may improve your chances of finding a trainee position if you have some work experience in an actuarial department. You can find details about internships and work placements through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
You may be able to switch to actuarial work from a related profession, like risk management, financial services or business analysis. You would then follow an employer training programme to qualify.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries to begin training and to take professional exams as you progress.
You’ll find more details about careers in the actuarial profession, training and case studies from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of economics and accounting
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- analysing statistics
- forecasting finances
- testing financial options
- assessing risks
- using computers to build mathematical and statistical models
- explaining findings to managers, government ministers or business clients
You could work in an office.
With experience, you could become a department manager and then a partner with a financial firm.
You could also specialise in a particular field, like life insurance or healthcare, or move into consultancy work, accountancy or banking.