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Financial 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 a Financial Actuary. This page details the following Information:-

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

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Actuaries use knowledge of economics, statistics, accounting and business law and practice to assess financial risks. Their work is mainly concerned with pensions, life assurance and related fields such as aviation, marine and motor insurance, but also with other business decisions where major risks are involved.

Using computers, actuaries create and analyse statistical and mathematical models to predict the financial outcomes of different scenarios. This information is used to calculate rates to apply for insurance policies so that sufficient funds are available to cover any liabilities.

Actuaries work for independent consultancies or the Government Actuarys Department, advising on social security, state pensions and public sector pensions. Many senior managers in insurance companies are qualified actuaries.

The work involves contact with a variety of other professionals including accountants, solicitors, company secretaries, underwriters and investment managers.

Hours and Environment

Actuaries usually work office hours, although a consulting actuary will have to cover hours to suit their clients. During training, evenings and weekends will be spent studying for professional exams. Part-time work is a possibility.

The work is office-based, except where travel to visit clients is necessary.

Skills and Interests

To be an actuary you should:

  • be highly skilled in maths and statistics, with an aptitude for analysing data
  • have strong communication skills and the ability to explain complex information
  • have a thorough knowledge of business law, economics and commercial practices
  • have good commercial sense and sound judgement
  • have a logical approach to problem-solving and good organisational ability
  • have highly developed information and communications technology skills.


Most people enter with a degree in a mathematical subject or actuarial science. A first or second-class degree in any subject is acceptable, as long as you have A level/H grade maths. A third class honours degree is acceptable if maths is a main component of the degree course. The minimum qualifications for entry to a degree course are five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades, or equivalent qualifications. Degrees in a mathematical science require an A level/H grade in a maths subject.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Qualified actuaries must pass the fellowship examinations of the Institute of Actuaries (Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland). The minimum requirements to become a student member are three GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), including English, and two A levels/three H grades. One of the A levels should be maths at grade B, or further maths at grade C, and the other must be at least grade C. H grades should include maths at grade A and English.

Although there is no set upper age limit, it is preferred that candidates to begin training within four years of getting their A levels/H grades or degree. Exceptions may be considered, depending on previous experience and proven aptitude.


To become a fellow of the Faculty or Institute of Actuaries you must have at least three years relevant work experience and have passed the 15 professional examinations; exemption from up to nine of these is possible to holders of certain degrees or postgraduate qualifications. Please contact the Institute of Actuaries for further details of course providers.

Training periods usually include tuition for the professional exams by distance learning via the Actuarial Education Company on behalf of the Institute and the Faculty.

Once qualified, fellows must undertake continuing professional development to ensure their knowledge is current. Short revision courses are available at City, Exeter and Heriot-Watt universities.


50% of actuaries work in insurance or life assurance companies. A growing number work for independent consultancies, in investment banking, the Stock Exchange, industry and commerce, education, insurance, pension broking and the Government Actuarys Department.

In larger companies promotion to a management position is possible soon after qualifying, and senior roles are open to those with lengthy experience.

Self-employed consultancy or work overseas is a possibility.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only. Income for actuaries depends on the level of responsibility and type of employer.

Entrants with a degree start on around £21,000 a year.
Once qualified, an actuary will earn in excess of £40,000.
A senior manager in a large company could earn over £100,000.

Those working in the private sector are likely to receive other benefits such as a non-contributory pension, free health insurance, low-interest loans, a company car and annual bonuses.

Further information

Institute of Actuaries
Napier House
4 Worcester Street
Tel: 01865 268228

Faculty of Actuaries
Maclaurin House
18 Dublin Street
Tel: 0131 240 1300

The Actuarial Education Company
31 Bath Street
OX14 3FF
Tel: 01235 550005

Other Useful Financial Actuary Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Financial 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 Financial 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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