- Work on forecasting costs and risks for companies or the government
- Complex and technical work with IT and maths
- Well paid and with great progression opportunities
Using financial and statistical theories, you'll assess the likelihood of a particular event occurring and its possible financial costs.
You could work in life assurance, insurance or pensions, designing policies and advising clients on financial risk, or in the Government Actuary's Department, advising on the cost of welfare and healthcare.
- Analyse statistics
- Forecast finances
- Test financial options
- Assess risks using computers to build mathematical and statistical models
- Explain findings to managers, government ministers or business clients
You'll usually be based in an office, but you could also do some work at a client's business, or work remotely.
You can get into this job by doing a degree and then joining an employer training scheme. Most employers will look for a degree in maths or one that is closely related, for example, maths and statistics, actuarial science, economics, physics, engineering, or accounting. To get a place on degree programmes in these areas you may need maths A Level or other specific subjects. It's best to look at the entry requirements for individual universities and make sure you have chosen the subjects they are asking for. As an alternative, you may also be able to get started by completing an actuarial technician higher apprenticeship or actuary degree apprenticeship.
To qualify as a professional actuary you'll also need to join the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) as a student member, and then study for professional exams whilst working as a trainee actuary. You can improve your chances of finding a trainee position if you have some work experience in an actuarial department. Experience in an actuarial department could help you find a trainee position.
You may be able to switch to actuarial work from a related profession, like risk management, financial services or business analysis. You would then follow an employer training programme to qualify. The IFoA has more information on how to become an actuary.
With experience, you could become a department manager and then a partner with a financial firm. You could also specialise in a particular field, like life insurance or healthcare, or move into consultancy work, accountancy or banking.