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Actuary Actuarial analyst

Actuaries work with companies and government departments, to help them forecast long-term financial costs and investment risks.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £30,000 to £70,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to join the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) as a student member. You’ll then study for professional exams while you work as a trainee actuary.

To join the IFoA you'll usually need a degree in maths or a related subject, like:

  • actuarial science
  • economics
  • physics
  • engineering
  • accounting
  • statistics

Experience in an actuarial department could help you find a trainee position.

You could also enter this career from a related profession, like risk management, financial services or business analysis.

The IFoA has more information on how to become an actuary.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • skills in maths and statistics
  • the ability to research, analyse and interpret data
  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You could work in:

  • life assurance, insurance or pensions, designing policies
  • consultancy, advising clients on financial risk
  • the Government Actuary's Department, advising on the cost of welfare and healthcare

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

4. Salary

Starter: £30,000 to £36,000 (student actuary)

Experienced: £50,000

Highly Experienced: £70,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 35 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday. Trainee actuaries usually spend around 15 hours a week studying while working.

You'll work in an office, but you'll often need to travel to visit your clients, sometimes overseas.

6. Career path and progression

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.

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Last updated: 06 December 2016