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Insurance Actuary Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Insurance Actuary. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Insurance Actuary
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Insurance Actuary Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Actuaries aim to make financial sense of the future. They do this by advising on the possible financial results of projects that are being planned. Their work involves:

  • analysing what has happened in the past
  • predicting what different things could happen in the future
  • assessing the risks involved in those things that could happen
  • explaining to senior managers what the results would mean in financial terms.

Actuaries use their expertise in maths, statistics, economics, law, marketing and accounting. They also use computers a great deal in their work.

Actuaries work in offices. They work normal office hours but often have to work beyond those times.

Starting salaries for graduates are between £19,000 and £24,000 a year. A newly-qualified actuary will earn at least £44,000, and this can rise to well over £100,000 a year for a senior manager in a large company.

An actuary should:

  • be very strong in maths and statistics
  • be good at analysing information
  • be able to explain complicated information clearly.
  • It can be possible to become an actuary with A levels/H grades. Most entrants, though, have a degree, often in a subject such as maths, actuarial science, economics, statistics or physics. Training combines work with part-time study for the examinations of the Institute of Actuaries or the Faculty of Actuaries. It usually takes five or six years to qualify.

Most actuaries start by working for a life assurance or consultancy company. There are also opportunities with general insurance companies, banks, industrial and commercial companies and the Government Actuary's Department.

Actuaries can become managers, partners in consultancy firms or senior executives of companies.

What does the role encounter?

The job of actuaries is to make financial sense of the future. They help the financial world and governments to evaluate the long-term financial implications of their decisions. This involves actuaries using mathematical and statistical expertise and knowledge, as well as economics, business law and practices, marketing and accounting.

Actuaries’ work includes:

  • analysing the past, eg accident rates for particular groups of people, cars or aeroplanes
  • modelling the future, eg predicting the effects of different life expectancies on the investments required for funding pensions
  • assessing the risks involved, eg the chances that an earthquake will occur in a particular area causing damage worth millions of pounds
  • explaining to senior managers and directors what the results mean in financial terms.

Actuaries have traditionally been concerned mainly with life assurance and pensions but are increasingly involved in assessing risks associated with areas such as general insurance, investment and healthcare. Their analysis plays a vital role in their organisation's business decisions - eg what rates to apply for insurance policies to be profitable but still competitive. In insurance companies actuaries calculate the funds needed to cover the firm’s long-term liabilities.

Many actuaries work for consultancies that advise organisations on various financial activities that have a degree of risk, especially occupational pension schemes.

In the Government Actuary's Department, they advise other departments on matters such as social insurance, state pensions and public sector pensions.

Actuaries use computers to analyse and build statistical and mathematical models to predict the financial outcomes of different scenarios. They liaise with a variety of people, including accountants, solicitors, company secretaries, underwriters and investment managers.

Actuaries who are graduates start on between £19,000 and £24,000 a year.

What hours will I have to work?

Actuaries work normal office hours but often have to work beyond those times. Those working in consultancy tend to have to work more flexibly, in order to meet clients’ demands.

This can sometimes include weekend work. Part-time work as an actuary is possible.

Much of the study for professional examinations has to be done during evenings and weekends.

Actuaries work indoors in offices. They are sitting for much of the time. Consulting actuaries have to travel between clients.

What level of salary/benefits can I expect?

These figures are only a guide.

Graduates start on between £19,000 and £24,000 a year.

Newly-qualified actuaries earn between £44,000 and £63,000 a year.

Senior managers in large companies can earn well over £100,000 a year.

Actuaries in the private sector usually receive other benefits, such as non-contributory pensions, free health insurance, low interest loans, company cars and annual bonuses.

What type of skills will I need?

An actuary should:

  • have excellent maths and statistics skills
  • have an aptitude for analysing data
  • have strong verbal and written communication skills in order to explain complex information clearly and concisely
  • be able to solve problems both logically and creatively
  • have information technology skills
  • have good commercial sense
  • be able to work alone and as part of a team
  • have the ability to manage staff
  • be motivated and determined to cope with the study for professional examinations while working.

Career Progression:

Actuaries can move between different specialist actuarial areas. Promotion is possible in larger companies to management positions and then to senior executive or director level. It can be possible to become a partner in a consultancy firm.

There are excellent opportunities for UK actuaries to work overseas. Opportunities for self-employment are limited.

Further information can be found at:

The Actuarial Profession (Faculty of Actuaries), Maclaurin House, 18 Dublin Street, Edinburgh EH1 3PP. 0131 240 1300. Website:

The Actuarial Profession (Institute of Actuaries), Napier House, 4 Worcester Street, Oxford OX1 2AW. 01865 268200. Website:

Government Actuary's Department, Finlaison House, 15-17 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1AB. 020 7211 2600/2601. Website:

Similar types of job roles & industries:

Accounting Technician
Industry and Commerce Accountant
Insurance Broker
Insurance Broker Consultant
Insurance Claims Settler/Manager
Insurance Loss Adjuster
Insurance Underwriter
Investment/Merchant Banker
Operational Researcher
Pensions Administrator
Public Sector Accountant
Stock Exchange Dealer/Trader
Stock Exchange Investment Analyst.

Other Useful Insurance Actuary Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Insurance Actuary job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Insurance Actuary Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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