An career as an actuary is a hugely rewarding one. There are many reasons why you should consider a career as an actuary and we’ve managed to narrow down the top seven reasons you should become an actuary.
1. Job security
An actuarial career is a stable one. A sustainable society will always need pensions and insurance, regardless of the state of the economy. Technology has been changing the landscape of many industries in the last decade and the actuarial profession is no exception.
However, if you embrace the changes and opportunities that innovation brings, then you will succeed.
Joining the actuarial profession means that you will get both job stability and the opportunity for exciting developments.
2. Intellectual challenge
The actuarial profession offers a variety of intellectual challenges. To be successful in this field, you will need to demonstrate excellent analytical thinking and the ability to solve complicated financial problems. Solid commercial and economic understanding, as well as being able to interpret and communicate complex information in a clear way, is also essential.
3. A prestigious industry
The actuarial profession in the UK is relatively small compared to other professional bodies. With 29,000 members of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), you will become part of a high-profile, prestigious and well respected profession. It is not easy to qualify as an actuary, and you must be willing to work hard to get through the rigorous examinations while performing well in your day job. This requires focus, determination and the ability to cope well under pressure. What you will gain, however, is a world-recognised qualification at the end of it.
4. Excellent study support and training
Pass rates in the earlier actuarial exam papers are between 50% and 70%, but can fall as low as 30% in the later exams. On average, you will spend between 15 and 20 hours a week studying for your exams. This requires a huge amount of commitment and dedication. However, the help and support given by employers is generous. Most companies offer paid study leave, cover the cost of external tuition and exam costs as well as offer mentorship schemes.
5. Make an impact
Actuaries help form high-level business decisions and solve real-life problems in a range of industries. You could be influencing investment decisions, designing pension schemes that affect thousands of people or estimating whether a huge capital project is financially viable. Becoming an actuary means that the decisions you make impact people’s lives.
6. A wide range of opportunities
Opportunities within the actuarial profession continue to grow. Actuarial careers were previously found mainly in the life assurance and non-life (insurance) industries but there has been an increase in actuaries in non-traditional roles. These range from actuarial consultants, life offices and the professional financial services firms. Over half of the members of the IFoA work in non-traditional areas.
The UK actuarial qualification is highly valued throughout the world. 60% of the UK qualified members are working overseas, either permanently or for international secondments. Many of these international opportunities are in fascinating locations such as Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa, to name but a few.
7. Financial Reward
Actuaries are one of the best paid professional groups, with starting salaries way above peers in other industries. You can expect to receive very good financial rewards in the actuarial sector. The average basic salary for a student actuary last year was £35,936, rising to almost £52,000 for newly qualified actuaries. For senior positions, the average salary is over £200,000. As you can see, a very satisfying and clearly defined career progression is there for the taking for committed individuals.