What is an Actuary?
Actuaries are experts in calculating the financial consequences of risk and uncertainty. They estimate the risk of prospective occurrences using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory. They assist businesses and clients in developing policies that reduce the cost of that risk. Actuaries work is critical to the insurance sector.
A profession in actuarial science is highly attractive for a variety of reasons. To mention a few, job stability, the opportunity to work from anywhere in the globe, and the chance to have a significant effect on a company. Due to the variety of industries that Actuaries work in, the demand for this job role is high, making this career path desirable for those looking for numerous employment opportunities.
Actuaries are needed to assist businesses in managing their own risk, which is referred to as enterprise risk management. Actuaries may assist businesses in avoiding, managing, and responding to financial risks in many areas of their operations. This research aids businesses in adjusting their company or investment strategy in order to maximise profits and comply with changing financial rules and standards.
Actuaries are required by insurance companies to examine the vast amounts of data acquired from consumers, such as medical or property data. Through Actuary work, insurance businesses are able to better create new products, establish competitive rates, forecast customer behaviour, and make more accurate estimates of future risks and costs because of the increased availability of data. Furthermore, health insurance businesses need Actuaries to assist in assessing the implications of changing healthcare rules and recommendations, expanding into new insurance markets, and offering products to new clients.
If you have a high interest in organising and persuading this just may be the right career path for you.
The responsibilities for an Actuary will vary depending on the employer and the specific field of work, some of them will include:
- Estimating the likelihood and expense of occurrences like an accident, death, natural catastrophe, or illness
- Explaining suggestions and conclusions to a wide range of stakeholders, including corporate leaders, clients, shareholders, and government authorities.
- Creating charts and other displays to illustrate ideas and computations, as well as design, test, and administer policies to reduce risk and enhance profitability of insurance policies and pension plans.
- Giving expert witness testimonies
- Reviewing company policies
- Working on statistical data
- Developing new risk analysis methods
- Communicating to businesses
The UK salary for Actuaries ranges from £42,000 to £124,000 with an average salary of £69,945 per year.
On the other hand Actuaries in London earn from £47,000 to £142,000, with the average salary of £72,334 per year.
Remember that a good pay isn’t the sole advantage of working as an actuary; depending on your business, you can also get healthcare, a gym membership, or life insurance.
The starting wage for trainee actuaries is greater than the national average, and it continues to rise as you gain experience and progress up the career ladder. In some cases, you may be looking at a six-figure salary. The salary for Actuaries is also influenced by geographic location.
Working hours and work location
As an Actuary, on average, you will work approximately 40 hours every week. You can expect to work extra hours, not necessarily on weekends or in shifts. Long hours are less probable for more junior workers, such as graduate trainees, in conventional fields of employment because they will be dedicating more time to preparing for professional tests. Flexible and part-time employment, as well as career pauses, can be negotiated, but it depends on the company and your specific circumstances.
Some of the work settings for Actarials include:
- Insurance companies
- Consulting companies
- Investment companies
What to expect
The majority of actuarial work is done on computers. Actuaries compile data using database software. They employ complex statistics and modelling tools to predict the likelihood of an event occurring, the event’s potential expenses if it occurs and whether the insurance company has enough money to cover future claims.
Actuaries are generally part of teams that comprise managers and experts from other professions like accounting, underwriting, and finance. Some Actuaries, for example, collaborate with accountants and financial analysts to determine the pricing of security offers, or with market research experts to estimate demand for new products.
Most Actuaries work for insurance companies, where they assist in the design of policies and the calculation of premiums. They must guarantee that premiums are profitable while remaining competitive with competing insurers.
Although any graduate with good maths abilities can work in this field, the following degree topics may improve your chances in landing an Actuary job:
Entry into the Actuary work field with an HND only is highly unlikely.
A bachelor’s degree, postgraduate diploma, or master’s degree in Actuarial Science may provide an exemption from basic technical studies and enable faster qualifying. Exemptions are also allowed if you have studied a numerical degree such as mathematics or economics, as long as the courses have some statistics and probability content.
The Directory of Actuarial Employers maintains a list of firms that may finance postgraduate education (accessible to its members). Alternatively, you might look for Actuarial Science postgraduate programmes. The IFoA offers the Certificate in Financial Mathematics (CT1) to non-members such as university students and financial services professionals. It gives students a solid foundation in mathematics and its basic applications, and it’s a good place to start if you’re thinking about becoming an Actuary. The test contributes to the completion of the professional certification as well.
Once qualified, you must join the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and be authorised to use the CAA designation after your name. The minimal admission criterion for the Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) path to becoming an Actuary is an A-level in mathematics with a grade of B or above. If you are looking for apprenticeship opportunities, check out the IFoA website.
A Master’s degree in Business and Administration with Banking and Finance (MBA with banking and finance) is beneficial and will put you in a better position to start earning the highest salary straight away. By being certified as a qualified Risk Manager, you can ensure that you continue to grow your talents and increase your income. This entails earning internationally recognised qualifications.
In order to become an Actuary you will need to acquire or posses the following skills:
must have skills:
- Knowledge of issues that single traders and Actuaries in small businesses may face
- Knowledge of good governance and meeting management
- Ability to review work
- Knowledge of internal procedures and regulations, professional standards
- IT skills
- Analytical skills
- Maths skills
- The ability to communicate complex information adequately and in plain language
- Excellent written and oral skills
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to take on high levels of responsibility
In order to make an excellent Actuary you will have to make reasoned, ethical judgments when presented with obstacles in your everyday personal and/or professional life, including work ethics (i.e. Experience and knowledge of different types of conflicts of interest).
Although prior work experience is not required, talking to people who have already done the job and gaining some work experience would be extremely beneficial. For students interested in becoming Actuaries, certain companies provide work placements or internships.
Actuaries in the insurance sector often specialise in one or more of the following areas of insurance:
- Health insurance Actuaries assist in the development of long-term care and health insurance plans by estimating the estimated costs of delivering treatment under the conditions of an insurance contract. Their forecasts are based on a variety of criteria, such as family history, geography, and employment.
- Life insurance Actuaries assist in the development of annuity and life insurance plans for people and groups by calculating how long someone is projected to live based on risk variables such as age, gender, and cigarette usage.
- Property and casualty insurance Actuaries in assist in the development of insurance policies that protect policyholders from property damage and liabilities as a consequence of accidents, natural disasters, fires, and other calamities.They compute the estimated number of claims from car accidents, which varies according on the insured person’s age, gender, driving history, car type, and other factors. Outside of the insurance sector, some Actuaries apply their knowledge to financial concerns.
- They establish investment plans, for example, to control risks and optimise returns for businesses or people. These types of Actuaries include:
- Enterprise Risk Actuaries assess any risks, such as economic, financial, and geopolitical risks, that might impact a company’s short- and long-term goals.
- They assist senior executives in determining how much risk the company is prepared to face and developing ways to address these concerns.
- Pension and Retirement Benefits Actuaries establish, analyse, and assess firm pension plans to see if the estimated funds available in the future will be sufficient to cover future payouts.
The outcomes of their evaluations must be reported to the federal government.
Pension Actuaries also assist firms in the creation of other forms of retirement plans and retiree healthcare plans. Individuals might also get retirement planning guidance from them.
Actuaries also work for the government. Actuaries in the government may assess proposed Social Security or Medical care modifications or undertake economic and demographic studies to forecast future benefit commitments. Actuaries may evaluate and control the rates charged by insurance businesses at the state level.
Some Actuaries work as consultants, providing customers with advice on a contract basis.
Many consulting Actuaries oversee the work of internal Actuaries at insurance companies or perform actuarial functions for firms that aren’t large enough to employ their own Actuaries.
In terms of on job advancement, promotion is mostly determined based on job performance and the number of actuarial tests taken. Fellowship-eligible Actuaries, for example, frequently supervise the work of other Actuaries and give advice to top management. Actuaries with a wide understanding of risk management and how it pertains to business can advance to executive roles such as chief risk officer or chief financial officer in their company.
Here are some MSc recommendations:
The University of the West of Scotland’s one-year full-time program will give you the executive training you need to launch your career in Actuary Science. Since the London Campus is located in the financial centre of London it provides you with a unique perspective on UK business and gives you a hand up on Londons’ lucrative job opportunities
Students can choose from a variety of start dates for this full-time program given by the University of the West of Scotland London over the course of two years and eight months. Industry experts, guest lecturers, and seasoned professionals are available to teach students at UWS London. The nicest thing about this course is that it is held on the London Campus, in the centre of the United Kingdom.
The University of the West of Scotland in London provides a one-year foundation degree that will prepare you for undergraduate courses and lay the groundwork for a business or accounting related career.
This course will introduce you to current research sources as well as practical case studies.
Students will learn about important business courses while also improving their English language and study skills. With the knowledge obtained through the Business Foundation Programme, you will be well equipped to go to the undergraduate level with confidence.
This program is taught at the University of the West of Scotland’s London Campus, so you’ll be studying in the heart of the UK’s industry. This one-year, full-time program is designed for students with no prior experience with computers or information technology. The course will teach you critical IT skills that will help you prepare for a job as an Actuary..
If you are looking to study fully online, this course is a great choice. It still has all the hallmarks of the leading MSc delivered by the University of the West of Scotland on campus. You do not need to have an IT baccalaureate degree to attend this course.