How to become an Actuary
Are you an A-Level or GCSE student who loves numbers? Dreaming of one day being part of a well-respected, elite profession that earns you top dollar but without rinsing you of every bit of energy and time you have? You've come to the right place.
From student caterpillar to (paid) actuarial butterfly…
So how do you actually get from being a high school or sixth form student to a fully qualified, professional, high flying actuary? These are the steps that will take you from here to there….
- Do your research: find out if an actuarial career is for you by visiting sites such as:
- Work experience: if possible, do some work experience with an actuarial company - your school or college career adviser should be able to assist.
- Choose your university course carefully: the course and university you choose will be essential to your future success. See our Uni courses page for details of what options are on offer for you!
- Study hard: whilst at uni, this is make or break for your future career as most actuarial employers will require a 2:1 or higher. As Eminem says, you only get one chance to blow… don't blow it. Whilst studying to become an actuary you will certainly still partake in the usual university fun and games but please be warned - whichever actuarial course you select, this is not a subject where you can 'slack and succeed'. But you can rest assured after the hard work is done, the rewards will be well worth it.
- Internships: some uni courses will offer you internships where you get a chance to work in an actuarial company and learn what lies ahead!
- Pass those exams! Actuarial Courses differ in content, but some of your exams will be based on the actuarial professional syllabus. You'll likely need the equivalent of a 2:1 in these exams to get exemptions so you don't have to do the professional exams after university. Give it everything you got - take it from those who have been there and done that, it will be well worth it. You'll have a higher chance of getting a job and your starting salary will be higher if you have exemptions.
- Find that first job: once you have passed university exams and graduated, you will need to apply for your first actuarial position. Remember, recruiters can help you with this - visit our recruiter page for more details.
- More exams: whilst you are working, you will need to continue with your professional exams until fully qualified, typically 6-10 years post-graduation.
- Flying high: once fully qualified, the actuarial world will be your oyster - and you'll be heading to that oyster bar. You can work in a management or non-management role, anywhere in the world, including the hot sands of the Caribbean!
- Pimp my ride: see our salary survey to find out what you could earn as a fully fledged actuarial professional…time to plan for that new car!