The actuarial profession is one that demands a high level of academic attainment, regardless of whether you are a graduate or a school leaver.
The traditional route to becoming an actuary is to achieve a minimum of a 2:1 at degree level as well as having excellent A levels. Degree subjects best suited for those looking to become an actuary include maths, statistics, economics, actuarial science, physics or chemistry.
That said, there has been an increase in School Leaver Schemes in recent years, meaning that you don’t always have to have a degree to become an actuary. Many employers will have a minimum requirement of 300 UCAS points (BBB) at A level and some typically require 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C, including a grade B in Maths (or grade 6 if you have taken your GCSEs in 2017 or later). Other companies require even higher A-level grades: asking for 320 (ABB) or 340 UCAS points (AAB), which is not uncommon, so you will need a high level of academic achievement.
To become a qualified actuary, you must complete at least three years of practical experience alongside your professional exams. A lot of actuarial firms support trainees by covering the cost of exams and study.