Skip to content

Finance & accounting

Actuary

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

Annual Salary

£28,000 to £62,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

3.5%
Future employment

There will be 3.5% more Actuary jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • analyse statistics
  • forecast finances
  • test financial options
  • assess risks
  • use computers to build mathematical and statistical models
  • write reports and presentations
  • explain findings to managers, government ministers or business clients

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client's business or remotely.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
University

You can get into this job by doing a degree and then joining a graduate actuarial training scheme.

Most employers will look for a degree with a high level of mathematical skills. For example:

  • maths and statistics
  • actuarial science
  • economics
  • physics
  • chemistry
  • engineering
  • accounting

A course with a placement year or a summer internship will give you valuable experience and an advantage when you apply for work.

You could take a postgraduate degree in actuarial science that may allow you to qualify as an actuary in a shorter time.

Some actuarial companies may offer sponsorship for postgraduate courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths
For more information
Apprenticeship

You may be able to start by completing an actuarial technician higher apprenticeship or actuary degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You may improve your chances of finding a trainee position if you have some work experience in an actuarial department. You can find details about internships and work placements through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Direct application

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.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries to begin training and to take professional exams as you progress.

Further information

You'll find more details about careers in the actuarial profession, training and case studies from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Showing jobs in:
View all vacancies in this region

You could specialise in a particular field, like life insurance or healthcare, or move into consultancy work, accountancy or banking.

With experience, you could take on more responsibility for managing people or projects. You could progress within a company or change specialism with another firm.

You could work for the Government Actuaries Department (GAD) advising on public sector finances.

You may improve your chances of finding a trainee position if you have some work experience in an actuarial department. You can find details about internships and work placements through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

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 first step to qualifying as an actuary is 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'll find more details about careers in the actuarial profession, training and case studies from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
My top 5 skills
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register