How to become an Actuary

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Finance and Accounts


Who is Actuary ?

Actuary, as the term suggests has to do with the field of finance and accounts.An actuary is a professional who applies mathematical and statistical techniques to analyze risks, assess uncertainties, and make informed financial decisions for businesses and organizations. The evaluation of the potential risk and financial consequences involved for the company and its stakeholders and clients are done by an Actuary. They use the concepts of mathematics, statistics and finance to calculate the probability of future events. They can work in the areas such as banking, corporates, finance, investment management like healthcare and pension etc. Actuaries have a unique combination of mathematical, analytical, communication, and management abilities. They use their skills to make a positive social impact, inform high-level strategic decisions, and have a significant impact on legislation, businesses, and people`s lives. Actuaries are creative, inquisitive, and adaptable, and it is this learning mindset that enables them to thrive in the digital age.

The unique combination of technical skills and professional acumen of actuaries ensures that they will continue to make a difference, mitigating the effects of future uncertainty. The rise of artificial intelligence and data science is challenging actuaries to think differently and creating previously unimagined opportunities. Whether you work in-house within an organisation or in a consulting firm supporting various clients, you will have a financially rewarding career in which you can grow, develop, and be challenged. Being an actuary allows you to put your highly valued mathematical skills and expertise to use in a diverse, exciting, and challenging career that truly makes a difference. In comparison to similarly paid professions in the financial services, such as investment banking, your hard work is rewarded with a highly competitive salary and a good work/life balance.

Types of Actuaries:

  • Life insurance: Their areas of expertise include the evaluation of risks and the computation of the premiums, reserves, and benefits of life insurance policies
  • Health insurance: Actuaries evaluate risks and set premiums, expenses, and reserves for health insurance plans and policies.
  • Pension actuaries: They specialize in managing and evaluating pension plans, including calculating contributions, projecting future liabilities, and ensuring their sustainability.
  • Property and casualty insurance: They collaborate with insurers to evaluate risks and establish premiums, reserves, and property coverage.
  • Risk Management Actuaries: They assist businesses in identifying and managing risks by evaluating data, creating risk models, and suggesting ways to reduce possible financial losses.
  • Consulting actuaries: They provide services to clients on a wide range of actuarial matters, including risk assessment, insurance valuations, financial planning, and regulatory compliance.
  • Enterprise risk actuaries: Actuaries who assess and manage risks at the organizational level, considering factors such as operational risks, strategic risks, and financial risks that may impact the overall performance of a company.

Typical day at work

What does Actuary do?

  1. Use statistical models to analyze data and calculate the probability of and costs associated with product failure, accidents, property damage, injury and death
  2. Estimate the likelihood of catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemics and terrorist attacks, as well as assess the risk exposure of insurance companies
  3. Design investment and pension plans for financial services
  4. Aid businesses lower their insurance premiums by reducing their risk exposure
  5. Do exhaustive data analysis and statistical modelling
  6. Ensure that premium rates are set accurately and adequate funds exist to meet claims
  7. Be Responsible for legislative and advisory work
  8. Manage staff and report financial forecasts to management

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Actuary?

Actuaries use complicated equations to predict the possibility of various events in situations such as accidents, diseases, consumer demand, and investments. They crunch figures and develop tables, graphs, and reports based on their findings using sophisticated computer software. Actuaries are mostly employed by organisations that deal with life, health, property, and casualty insurance. Others are employed by pension funds, consulting businesses, or government organisations. Many actuaries advance to management or executive positions, where they oversee and control workgroups.

Actuaries must be able to see patterns and trends in a wide range of data sets. An actuary's employment includes using computer languages and creating spreadsheet models, databases, and statistical models. Actuaries must be able to communicate complicated concepts and technical facts to a variety of audiences, as well as manage teams and collaborate effectively. Individuals must be able to recognise a company's risks and build a risk management strategy for the organisation. Calculus, probability, and statistics are the major techniques utilised to estimate risk in this career.

Actuaries have a unique set of skills that they bring to their jobs:

  • Knowledge of specialised mathematics.
  • Probability, statistics, and calculus.
  • Analytical, project management, and problem-solving abilities are required.
  • Excellent business acumen.
  • Accounting, finance, and economics.
  • Excellent communication abilities (oral and written)
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Spreadsheet creation, statistical analysis software, database manipulation, and programming languages.

Actuaries are gifted professionals who possess traits such as:

  • Self-motivation
  • Creativity
  • Independence
  • Ability to collaborate with others
  • Ambition

Successful actuaries develop and hone skills such as an excellent business sense with knowledge of finance, accounting, and economics; sharp analytical, project management, and problem solving skills; specialised math knowledge; good computer skills; and solid communication skills. Furthermore, actuaries enjoy learning, solving complex problems, writing and talking to people, working effectively alone or as part of a team, being interested in a wide range of historical, social, legislative, and political issues, and being self-motivated achievers.

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How to become an Actuary?

Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Actuary ?

Except the ACET exam, all other colleges offering courses in actuarial science have mathematics or related subjects as their minimum eligibility criteria
Maths is mandatory for most college admissions.Give Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET) and complete :
Certificate in Actuarial Technique (CAT) (2) Diploma in Actuarial Technique (DAT)


Which course I can pursue?


Which Industries are open for Actuary?

  • Insurance Sector
  • Business Sector
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Health and Medical Sector
  • Life insurance
  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Reinsurance Companies
  • Pension funds
  • Consultants
  • Investments
  • Government
  • Academics
  • Risk Management


Are there internships available for Actuary?

To become an IAI Associate Member, you must pass all nine CT exams and three CA exams, a total of 12 exams, and have worked for at least one year in your field of study or profession. And once you clear all the 15 papers, you can become a Fellow Member of the IAI. One must, however, have worked for at least three years before applying to become a Fellow member. As a result, there is no internship requirement, but a minimum of three years of work experience is required to become a Fellow. To put it another way, employment experience is required. Also, you may begin your job experience after completing 10 papers or 3 papers - there is no restriction. But ideally, when one passes 3-5 papers, one should start looking for a job because for the higher papers, you need job experience to understand the concepts as they are directly linked with real-life problems. It's almost hard to grasp the theoretical notions presented in the articles without first gaining some real-world experience.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Actuary?

Actuaries will be needed to create, price, and evaluate a wide range of insurance products, as well as to calculate the costs of new risks. More actuaries will also be required to assist businesses in risk management, a practice known as enterprise risk management. Actuaries will assist businesses in avoiding, managing, and responding to potential financial risks in all areas of business. This analysis assists businesses in adjusting their business or investment strategies to achieve economic returns and respond to new financial regulations and requirements. Actuaries will be needed by insurance companies to analyse the massive amounts of information collected from consumers, such as medical or property data. With more data available, insurance companies will be able to better develop new products, set competitive prices, predict consumer behaviour, and make more accurate projections of future risks and costs.

Furthermore, health insurance companies will require more actuaries to assist in evaluating the effects of changing healthcare regulations and guidelines, expanding into new insurance markets, and offering products to new customers. The projection for actuaries through the year 2028 is 20.1% which indicates a very fast growth. The entry level job openings are for those holding a bachelor`s degree in maths, statistics, finance etc. they must also pass a series of examinations. The major recruiters of actuaries are insurance companies, consulting firms, government, employee benefits departments of large corporations, hospitals, banks and investment firms. In general, any business with a requirement to manage financial risk would hire an actuary.