An actuary is an expert in risk management. They use their mathematical skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events. This information is useful to many industries, including healthcare, pensions, insurance, and banking.

What does an actuary do?

Every area of business is subject to risks, so an actuarial career offers many options. A typical business problem might involve analysing future financial events. It could also involve understanding the weather; assessing when and where devastating storms may hit can help predict risks, and their associate costs, for investments or insurance.

Take a look at our profile of actuary Laura Molloy to learn more.

What qualifications do I need?

Employers are generally looking for graduates with at least a 2.1 degree and excellent A levels or equivalent. Actuaries have strong mathematical, economic and statistical awareness, and can apply this to real life.

The minimum requirements for admission as a student of the actuarial profession are:

  • Maths A level (or equivalent) at grade B, with a second A level (or equivalent) in any subject at grade C
  • Three Scottish National Qualifications Authority Higher passes, one must be in mathematics at grade A, with two more passes in any subject at grade C
  • The Irish Leaving Certificate in at least five subjects; one pass must be in mathematics at grade A and the rest in any subjects at grade C
  • The actuarial profession’s CT1 exam taken as a non-member

How do I find a job as an actuary?

A list of companies that have indicated that they have actuarial graduate training schemes are available in the Directory of Actuarial Employers. Current actuarial vacancies are available at The Actuary Magazine and Inside Careers. A further opportunity to meet with working actuaries is through the actuarial profession’s careers events.

What are the career prospects of an actuary?

The skills that you will gain as an actuary will be invaluable to you in your future career. Many actuaries change practice area and career path and move into teaching, alternative risk roles, consultants, business operations managers, career advisers.