Actuarial School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Being an actuary is all about risk-taking – not with things like jumping off planes or climbing cliffs, but looking at numbers and info from different things a company might want to invest in, and deciding how much of a risk it would be for the company to take it on. Actuaries make these decisions based on statistics, trends and their own experience.Actuary

It's like looking into a crystal ball to predict the future, but using numbers and knowledge instead of deciphering shapes and colours. Actuaries work in companies that manage investments, particularly insurance and pensions. They can also advise on business mergers and takeovers.

What's it all about?TOP ^

This is one of the highest-paid professions around, and with good reason. An actuary's advice is taken very seriously, and they have an important role in top decisions that affect future business plans. The skills that actuaries gain as they become qualified are recognised internationally, so this is a career that can take you anywhere in the world and if you'd like to get into this profession after leaving school you need some extra qualifications.

School leavers looking to become actuaries should consider joining up with professional organisations, although many require you to have a degree level qualification first. You may be able to secure a traineeship with an actuarial organisation, who will work with you while you complete your professional qualifications. These can take between three to six years to complete.

Once qualified, you can choose to work as an actuary within a company, or set up your own consulting practice. There's a lot of prestige with being an actuary, largely due to the huge responsibility they have in giving accurate assessments, so the best actuaries have bags of confidence and aren't afraid of a challenge.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Salary while training: around £26,000
Salary after training: £40,000-£50,000

Where can I work? TOP ^

Although you can get work experience in an actuarial practice, to get ahead you will need to have qualifications. Almost all actuarial practices will require you to have a degree in actuarial science or mathematics. You can achieve this by taking A Levels in Maths and other related subjects.

However, some actuarial employers will help you to train and achieve you qualifications while working for them. You can start out as a trainee actuary with some firms, assisting other actuaries in collecting data and liaising with customers.
You should expect to continue studying for professional exams throughout the first four or five years of your career as you gain actuarial experience.

What skills will I need? TOP ^

You'll need a passion and flair for maths, statistics and problem-solving. As you'll often be working for and with people who may not know all the technical terms around what you do, you'll also need to be able to communicate your analysis clearly to your team. Knowing the latest financial and economic news is a must, which will help you as you determine the risk in different kinds of investments.
Some of the skills that actuarial recruiters might look for are:

What entry level actuarial jobs can I do? TOP ^

School leavers looking to get into the actuarial industry will need to work towards professional qualifications, but many companies provide on the job training. The main entry level routes into actuarial work are:

  • Trainee actuary
  • Financial risk assistant
  • Investment analyst
  • Pensions consultant
  • Credit risk analyst
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School leavers looking to get into the actuarial industry will need to work towards professional qualifications, but many companies provide on the job training">