From job security to financial reward, there are many reasons why an actuarial career is perfect for you…

1. A wide range of opportunities

Historically, actuaries were often found mainly in life assurance and non-life insurance industries, but these days actuaries work in a variety of non-traditional roles. These range from actuarial consultants, life offices and the professional financial service firms. Over half of the members of the IFoA work in non-traditional roles and these opportunities continue to grow.

Despite working in the industry for well over a decade, I regularly come across new and complex areas.
The nature of our work is constantly evolving due to world events, changes in markets and ever-changing legislation.

Paul Butfield FIA – Buck

The UK actuarial qualification is highly valued throughout the world. 45% of the UK qualified members are based outside of the UK; with many international opportunities in locations such as Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa to name but a few.

2. Intellectual challenge

As an actuary, you will often be faced with intellectually challenging problems. 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 are also essential.

I’ve always enjoyed mathematics and statistics.
This career path has allowed me to develop skills to solve complex problems using practical methods rooted in maths and stats.
It’s certainly challenging, something I consider a huge plus.

Carmen Loots – Willis Re Speciality

3. Job security

An actuarial career is a stable one. A sustainable society will always need pensions and insurance, which means that actuaries will always be in demand. Technology changed the landscape of many professions and the actuarial profession was not exempt from this. However, by embracing the changes and the opportunities that these technological advancements bring, you will succeed.

Compared to other professional bodies, the actuarial profession is relatively small. With just over 30,000 members of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, you will be part of a high-profile, prestigious and well respected profession. It is not easy to qualify as an actuary, and the exams are rigorous. Therefore, you will have to be willing to put the work in, not only do you have to pass your exams but you also have to excel at your day job. You will have to have 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. A Good Work-Life Balance

The actuarial profession is both challenging and hugely rewarding. Not only will you have a career that is intellectually challenging but as many actuaries report, one that allows you to balance your work and home life. Although this will differ across sectors and companies, this is one benefit that actuaries often enjoy throughout their career.

5. Excellent study support and training

On average, you will spend between 15 and 20 hours a week studying for your qualification. This requires a huge amount of commitment and dedication. However, the help and support given by employers is generous as many offer paid study leave, cover the cost of external tuition and exam costs as well as offering mentorship schemes.

6. Financial Reward

While actuaries certainly work hard, they enjoy high financial reward. The average basic salary for a graduate last year was £35,00 and this can rise to above £200,000 for partner positions.

As you can see, joining the actuarial profession means you are joining a hugely prestigious industry that means you are constantly challenged and gives you the opportunity to make a positive impact.

Actuaries help form high-level business decisions and solve real-life problems in a range of industries. From influencing investment decisions to designing pension schemes that could affect thousands of people, becoming an actuary means that the decisions you make impact people’s lives.

I enjoy the technical aspect of the role but even more so the communication of results, decision making and strategy that goes alongside that in working with clients.

Joanne Gyte FIA – Hymans Robertson LLP

It is not easy to qualify as an actuary, and the exams are rigorous. You will have to have 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.

Whether it’s in traditional fields such as insurance and pensions or emerging fields like climate change, actuaries will have a role in analysing the challenges of today to prepare for the risks of tomorrow. With growth in areas such a Data Science there is will be opportunities to support businesses as they navigate the increasingly complex world of technology. Whichever area you work in, there will be a variety of roles available both in-house and through consultancy firms.

About the Author

  • Name: IFoA

The IFoA is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to educating, developing and regulating actuaries based in the UK and internationally.

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