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|Become an actuary and reap the rewards|
Author: Kat Morris
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 06:44 Reply
To be an actuary is to have a very prosperous position in life and the benefits can be very rewarding.
But, the industry is incredibly competitive and you will need the best qualifications available from your studies pre-university as well post-university and even then there are several exams to pass whilst you learn the trade as a student actuary.
Let’s start from the most obvious and common route. The first step would be take maths as an A-level and a grade of at least a B is imperative, but an A would probably open more doors.
Next up is getting a degree with many employers preferring the subject matter to be related to maths in some way, so areas such as statistics, economics, engineering, chemistry or physics. If a prospective employee can get a degree in actuarial science then this would be ideal.
A result of at least a 2:1 is required, but obviously anything higher would be a big bonus and again open more paths to a career as an actuary.
During the final year of university it is essential that anyone looking to get into the industry is applying for junior/student positions during October or November as after then positions will be hard to come by.
The exams aren’t over when university is finished, however, as an actuary student will have a series of tests over a time of three to six years before they can fully progress.
After this time though, anyone who has been successful through this process will now be able to get a senior position almost anywhere in world, never mind just in their native country, as the skills are universally used around the planet.
But where do you work?
Well, the most common choice comes between either insurance companies or consultancies. Working for the former, the employee would be attached to one client solely and that tends to be their employer.
The work in insurance tends to be little slower, with tasks lasting the course on a year before the next big challenge comes along.
In consultancy, the work comes thick and fast and actuarial consultancies are the biggest employers of actuaries in the UK. Tasks will come in bulk and can be particularly challenging with many different clients being on the same plate at the same time.
To find examples of these jobs, a good place to look is Star Actuarial vacancies for a good idea of what is out there.
So what about that big question, just how much can an actuary earn?
There are various ranking jobs in the industry, with student actuaries earning around £30,000 a year and is a gradual but generous progression all the way to annual wages in the region of £200,000 plus for a senior partner.
As well as being one the most well paid professions, being an actuary has several benefits which include being in a very influential role, intellectual fulfillment, a high standard of life and the opportunity to work abroad in an exciting environment.
About the author: Sam Bisby writes for Star Actuarial who help recruit individuals in the actuary industry which spans over life, non-life, investment and pensions roles, among others.
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