Job Description:

Actuaries work with companies and government departments, to help them forecast long-term financial costs and investment risks.

Job Category:
Financial Services

What you will do:

You could work in:

  • life assurance, insurance or pensions, designing policies
  • consultancy, advising clients on financial risk
  • the Government Actuary’s Department, advising on the cost of welfare and healthcare

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • analysing statistics
  • forecasting finances
  • testing financial options
  • assessing risks
  • using computers to build mathematical and statistical models
  • explaining findings to managers, government ministers or business clients


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of maths & statistics
  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to research, analyse and interpret data
  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • problem-solving skills


Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

In the UK, you’ll need to join the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) as a student member. You’ll then study for professional exams while you work as a trainee actuary.

To join the IFoA you’ll usually need a degree in maths or a related subject, like:

  • actuarial science
  • economics
  • physics
  • engineering
  • accounting
  • statistics

Experience in an actuarial department could help you find a trainee position.

You could also enter this career from a related profession, like risk management, financial services or business analysis.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday. Trainee actuaries usually spend around 15 hours a week studying while working.

You’ll work in an office, but you’ll often need to travel to visit your clients, sometimes overseas.

Career Path & Progression:

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.