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Actuaries use mathematical and statistical theories to measure future risks and to calculate their potential cost. They make forecasts which help financial and government organisations solve current problems and make long-term financial plans.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Actuaries earn well above average salaries. The salary for a graduate trainee or part qualified actuary can range from £25,000 to £40,000 a year. A fully qualified and experienced actuary earns around £40,000 to £55,000. Senior actuaries earn between £50,000 to £90,000 and department or function heads and directors from around £70,000 to £180,000 a year. Some chief actuaries and senior partners earn more than £175,000 a year.

Many employers also offer bonuses and mortgage deals, a pension scheme and a company car. Actuaries usually receive a bonus each year.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

You can enter this profession as a school leaver or a graduate.

Apprenticeship Route

Degree Route

Other Information

It is also possible to move into actuarial work from related professions such as risk manager or business analyst.

The IFoA website publishes a downloadable Directory of Actuarial Employers, which lists actuarial employers to whom you can apply for a traineeship. It is useful to know which area of work you want to work in; employment areas range from banking and stock exchange to government and industry and commerce.

You will also find jobs advertised in the online journal The Actuary.

Inside Careers, the graduate recruitment website, has a section giving information about companies offering work experience placements and internships.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland



Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

1.6 %
  United Kingdom
0 %

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What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be able to:


Getting On

More Information

Entrants will improve their chances if they pass one or two of the professional exams at their own expense before applying for a job. The IFoA offers the Certificate in Financial Mathematics allowing those outside the profession to sit the professional examinations. The exam is suitable for:

Anyone may enter for the exam and you do not need to meet the entry requirements for the Actuarial Profession to be eligible. However, you will need high level numeracy skills to pass.

Employment prospects for actuaries are very good, as are the financial rewards in this career. Actuarial skills are very much in demand in financial services, especially in investment, insurance and pensions.


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The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
Tel: 0131 240 1300
Twitter: @actuarynews

You can download a free copy of IFoA's 'A guide to Becoming an Actuary' from their website.

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