How to become an Actuary

Actuaries evaluate risk and opportunity applying mathematical, statistical, economic and financial analyses to a wide range of business problems.

Personal requirements for an Actuary

  • Enjoy problem solving
  • Good at mathematics
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to think clearly and logically
  • Focus and an eye for detail

Education & Training for an Actuary

To become an actuary you usually have to study actuarial studies or actuarial science at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Additional information

To become a fully qualified actuary, you must obtain a Fellowship of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia by satisfactorily completing its examinations and a recognised professionalism course.

Duties & Tasks of an Actuary

Actuaries:

  • Analyse statistics relating to factors such as death, illness and accident, as well as current trends in the economy, to design new types of life insurance and superannuation policies
  • Determine appropriate premiums or contributions and rates of return by calculating the future probabilities of events such as unemployment, illness or changes in interest rates
  • Ensure insurance companies have sufficient financial reserves to meet claims
  • Advise companies on investment policy and the distribution of profits to policyholders
  • Undertake financial projections for, and measure and analyse the investment performance of, life insurance companies, financial institutions and government organisations
  • Provide advice to potential buyers or sellers of companies.

Tasks

  • Examines financial projections for general insurance companies, finance companies, government and other organisations..
  • Designs new types of policies, assesses risks and analyses investments in life insurance, superannuation funds, health insurance, friendly societies, financial markets and other areas..
  • Defines, analyses and solves complex financial and business problems relating to areas such as insurance premiums, annuities, superannuation funds, pensions and dividends..

Employment Opportunities for an Actuary

This is a small, highly skilled profession, providing expertise that is in steady demand throughout the world. Government, insurance, superannuation, wealth management, investments, health financing and banking are the more readily recognised fields in which actuaries work, but they also work in new, high-growth fields, such as data analytics, energy resources and the environment. Many actuaries also hold executive positions in the operational management of financial institutions. Some actuaries work as consultants. Entry to this occupation is restricted by the standards required.


Specializations

Actuary

Actuaries evaluate risk and opportunity applying mathematical, statistical, economic and financial analyses to a wide range of business problems.

  • Average age
    Average age
    33 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    34% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,060
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    88% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,800 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.2%
    NSW: 72.5%
    NT: 0.2%
    QLD: 4.3%
    SA: 1.0%
    TAS: 0.2%
    VIC: 19.4%
    WA: 1.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.2%
    20-24: 11.1%
    25-34: 45.1%
    35-44: 23%
    45-54: 12.7%
    55-59: 4.1%
    60-64: 1.8%
    65 and Over: 2.1%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 0.4%
    Bachelor degree: 69.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 0.2%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 26.5%
    Year 10 and below: 0%
    Year 11: 0%
    Year 12: 3.2%
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