Career in Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science trains students about various aspects of insurance risks and financial management of Insurance Companies. The most prominent of these industries include insurance, investment and financial planning & management companies.

Do you know how the business of insurance works? Suppose there are 100 people who have bought an insurance plan. You might know that each of these 100 people will have to pay a specific amount of money every month or every year. If any of the 100 people suffer in a man-made calamity, the insurance company will pay them a huge amount of money they had promised earlier. But that is, only if they suffer a calamity which falls under the agreed upon circumstances. 
Now, isn’t it a matter of curiosity as to how does the insurance company determines or ‘guesses’ the number of people who will claim the insurance due to a calamity? This is where Actuarial science comes in.
Actuaries are professionals who are trained to combine the knowledge of mathematics, statistics and financial management to look into the future financial prospects of an insurance company. In simple words, their main job is to assess risk. Actuaries use skills in mathematics, economics, computer science, finance, probability and statistics, and business to help businesses assess the risk of certain events occurring and to formulate policies that minimize the cost of that risk. For this reason, Actuaries are essential to the insurance and reinsurance industry, as staff employees or as consultants as well as to other businesses, including sponsors of pension plans and to the government.

Top Colleges

UK is the best country to pursue Actuarial Science related courses. The United States is not too far behind in offering specialised courses in Actuarial Science. In India, in order to become an Actuary, students should passed their 10+2 and have attained 85% marks in Mathematics / Statistics. As far as graduates or post-graduate students are concerned, they can also apply if they have cleared their degree examinations with 55% aggregate or more on Mathematics and Statistics. 
Actuaries in India are regulated by the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI). According to IAI, anyone with the following requirements/qualifications/traits can become an Actuary:
An HSC passed, graduate, post graduate, Engineer, MBA, CA, ICWA etc. with sound knowledge in Mathematics & Statistics
Loves logic and problem solving
Good communicator
Excellent business awareness


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | University of California-Santa Barbara | University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


The University of Manchester | University of East Anglia | Queen’s University Belfast | University of Kent | Keele University 


University of Toronto | University of Western Ontario | Dalhousie University | University of Calgary


Loyola College | Amity University, Noida | Sir Parashurambhau College

Career Prospects

Actuaries are involved in other areas of the financial services industry, and can be involved in managing corporate credit, company evaluations, and tool development. Actuarial models are used to set criminal sentencing guidelines as well. Some areas in which Actuaries can work are:
Life insurance
Health insurance 
Asset management
Social welfare programmes, property casualty, general insurance and reinsurance are also some areas where actuaries find work.

Jobs & Salary

Besides assessing risks, Actuaries also design and maintain products and systems. They are involved in financial reporting of companies’ assets and liabilities. They communicate complex concepts to clients in a language simple enough to understand.

Some of the prominent companies which hire Actuaries are:
HDFC Standard
Bajaj Allianz
Actuaries also work for:
Colleges and universities
Banks and investment firms
Stock exchanges
Public accounting firms
Rating bureaus
In the UK, typical post-university starting salaries range between £25,300 and £35,000 and successful more experienced actuaries can earn well in excess of £100,000 a year.
Actuaries are well compensated in US as well. Experienced fellows have the potential to earn from $150,000 to $250,000 annually, and many actuaries earn more than that.

Pros & Cons

There are some obvious advantages of being an actuary. They are:
Work is intellectually challenging
Excellent pay
You will enjoy the respect of your peers
You are sure to be one of the key players in the management team of the companies that will employ you.
Following are some of the disadvantages:
Becoming an actuary can be a time taking and a tedious process
The work can be monotonous and repetitive
You might feel lonely and bored since it doesn’t involve much interaction with others

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