Actuarial Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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Actuaries are the problem-solvers of the financial world. An graduate actuarial job is one of the most diverse, exciting a rewarding.

The future is important to actuaries, as experts in risk, they calculate the probability of future events occurring and help companies base their decisions on this.

An actuary works in companies that manage investments, particularly insurance and pensions. An actuary can also advise on business mergers and takeovers.

Money-wise, the actuary profession is one of the best paying careers around, because of the importance placed on an actuary's advice it is taken very seriously by companies. The skills you receive when training for the actuary profession are recognized internationally so this career can take you anywhere in the world.

Joining a professional organization such as The Actuarial Profession is the best way to enter the sector. To qualify as a member you will need to take an exam. You can work as a trainee actuary while you complete your professional qualifications, which means you can earn while you learn. It can take between three and six years to qualify, and the exams can be very demanding but for the potential financial rewards it is more than worth the effort.

There are 22,000 members of The Actuarial Profession of which 48% are students. In the past most actuaries have been men but recent statistics show that 36% of members are female.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

Although the actuarial profession is open to graduates from any degree discipline your chances of gaining a position would be enhanced by subjects with a strong mathematical or finance focus such as actuarial science or mathematics, statistics, economics, business, finance, engineering and science.

Most graduate entrants into the actuarial industry will have a 2:1 degree level or higher and some employers do require certain degree disciplines or and MSc in Actuarial Science.

Postgraduate diploma’s and MSc in actuarial science accredited by The Actuarial Profession are available. The Directory of Actuarial Employers in the UK and Ireland lists companies that may offer sponsorship for postgraduate study.

What skills do I need for a career in actuarial?TOP ^

To work in the actuarial sector you will need to be comfortable working with numbers and arithmetic. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork and negotiation are also likely to be important.

Some of the skills that actuarial recruiters might look for are:

Graduates from many degree disciplines will have the necessary skills for working in accounting. Degrees offer a good set of skills in logical thought, presentation, analysis and communication all of which are important for a career in banking.

Work experience is also invaluable for graduates entering the actuary profession. Many companies offer work placements or internships.

What graduate actuarial job can I do? TOP ^

There are several different related graduate jobs in the actuarial sector across different areas of work. The main areas of work in actuarial are:

  • Actuary
  • Financial risk analyst
  • Investment analyst
  • Pensions consultant
  • Operational researcher

Average actuarial salariesTOP ^

Graduate starting salaries in the actuarial profession tend to fall between £25,000 and £35,000 with exact starting salaries varying depending on position and location. These are likely to be higher in the London area.

Newly qualified actuaries in the insurance field will vary between £40,000 and £55,000 and a typical salary after 10 to 15 years in the actuarial profession is over £60,000.

Senior actuaries can earn in excess of £100,000.

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