How to become a Actuary

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

Personal requirements of a 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 a 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. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at or university handbooks. You may also consider other degrees that emphasise mathematics, statistics or economics.

Duties & Tasks of a Actuary

Actuaries may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

Employment Opportunities for a 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.

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.
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