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Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is the UK's only chartered professional body dedicated to educating, developing and regulating actuaries based both in the UK and internationally.

What is an actuary?

Actuaries are highly regarded professionals; actuaries are problem solvers and strategic thinkers with a deep understanding of financial systems

Being an actuary means having highly valued mathematical skills and expertise

Actuaries come from different academic backgrounds but share a love of maths even if they haven’t done a maths degree. When you train as an actuary you’ll learn how to analyse data, evaluate financial risks, and communicate this data to non-specialists.

Actuaries use their skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events

Every area of business is subject to risks so an actuarial career offers many employment options, including banking, insurance, healthcare, pensions, investment but also non-financial areas.

An actuarial career can be one of the most diverse, exciting and rewarding in the world.

Members of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) are part of a globally recognised profession and have internationally-recognised qualifications.

Career prospects

Although qualifying as an actuary is a demanding process, the rewards are considerable. An actuarial career offers a challenging, well respected and well paid future.

The qualification is an excellent basis for a business career that is widely recognised throughout the financial world.

The variety and choice of rewarding opportunities available mean that it’s a stable profession, with very few actuaries unemployed or feeling the need to leave the actuarial world.

How do you get there?

After completing a numerate degree, most graduates start a training scheme.  To qualify as an actuary you’ll need to complete the IFoA’s exams.

Actuarial trainees take the exams at their own pace.  Working as a trainee actuary provides valuable on-the-job experience which can help when it comes to the exams.

Study is normally undertaken by correspondence courses, which are run by specialist providers and supplemented by tutorials. Employers also typically provide support in the shape of mentoring, coaching, study leave and meeting the costs of learning materials.

Exemptions from some of the exams may be awarded to students who have studied to an appropriate standard in a relevant degree, or have studied actuarial science at postgraduate level. Qualification typically takes three to six years.

The rewards!

Actuaries are known within the professional sector for having a desirable work life balance; many actuaries work a 9-5 day, with few required to work overtime or at weekends.

The pay is also very appealing, graduates earn on average £33,000 on a trainee scheme.  On qualifying, an actuary can earn £55,000+.  Senior and chief actuaries earn between £120,000 and £200,000.  82% of our members receive a company bonus.

A global qualification

The UK actuarial qualifications are highly valued throughout the world, with over 40% of members based overseas – studying and working.

Mutual recognition agreements with other overseas actuarial bodies facilitate the ability of actuaries to move and work in other parts of the world and create a truly global profession.


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