About Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science deals with the education of insurance risks and Financial Management of Insurance Companies. The most prominent of these industries include insurance, investment and financial planning & management companies.

Actuaries are professionals who are qualified in this field through education and experience. An Actuary looks into the future financial prospects of an insurance company. 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.

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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 10+2 passed students who have attained 85% marks in Mathematics / Statistics or graduate, or post-graduate students with 55% aggregate or more on Mathematics, Statistics are eligible to apply. There are a total of 15 papers and there is no fixed duration of the course. If pursued with complete dedication, the course could be completed in 3-4 years.


University of California-Berkeley, UCLA | UC-San Diego | University of Michigan | Boston University


Oxford | Cambridge | Imperial College London | University College London | King's College


University of Alberta | University of Manitoba | University of Toronto | University of Western Ontario


Bishop Herber college- C.M.D. School of Insurance and Actuarial Science- Amity School of Insurance and Actuarial Science

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.

  • Life
  • health
  • pensions
  • annuities
  • asset management

Social welfare programmes, property casualty, general insurance and reinsurance are also some areas where actuaries find work.

Actuaries attempt to predict the chance of re-offending according to rating factors which include the type of crime, age, educational background and ethnicity of the offender. Another bizarre example is the use of actuarial models to assess the risk of sex offense recidivism.

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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.

Actuaries also work for:
  • Colleges and universities
  • Banks and investment firms
  • Stock exchanges
  • Public accounting firms
  • Rating bureaus

In the UK, where there are approximately 9,000 fully qualified actuaries, 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 does not encourage much interaction with others.

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