The Top 10 Reasons to Become an Actuary

Actuaries are consistently found at the top of lists detailing the most desirable careers. But why exactly should you consider the actuarial profession? Here is a list of the top 10 reasons to become an actuary.

10. Great Work Environment

Actuaries don’t have to do any back-breaking labour or get their hands dirty. Most jobs are located in office environments in large cities. These firms generally have a bit of money so the workplace would be very comfortable and professional.

9. You Get to Work with Models Every Day

Ok, maybe not the models from FHM, but actuarial models are just as good, if not better! Can an FHM model predict how many people are going to die tomorrow? Exactly. Anyway, you still get to use maths in your day job. If you are considering a job as an actuary, there is a pretty good chance that you have a good aptitude for maths. As an actuary, you would be using maths in most aspects of your work. It is a great career path if you want to put what you learnt in your degree.

8. Well Respected Career

While actuaries are less visible, they are very well respected by those who know what they are. They are generally considered to be in the upper echelon of careers along with doctors and lawyers. The entry process may be a factor in this as the professional examinations are so difficult. Qualified actuaries will have had to work hard to get to that position.

7. Varied Work

A common misconception of actuaries is that they just sit behind a desk number-crunching all day. While there are these sorts of opportunities for people who are less social, there are positions where the work is very varied. Some may deal with analysing data, reporting to upper management about results, giving presentations to trustees, writing reports and liaising with clients are all possible. Trainee actuaries are sometimes rotated around different departments before they specialise so as to get a broad view of the different roles.

6. You can quickly end a Conversation about your Work

“So, what do you work as?”

“I’m an actuary.”

“Oh right…”

5. Job Security and Options

While there a not that many actuarial jobs outside of big cities, there isn’t much of a shortage within them. The number of qualified actuaries is not very large at all. The number in the UK is only about 9,000. So for any position there isn’t that much competition. Headhunters are frequently employed to recruit suitable actuaries to firms. The job security of actuaries is also relatively high compared to other careers.

4. International Career

As a fully qualified actuary you would be a very valuable commodity. There is a lot of potential for actuaries regarding where they want to work. Actuaries are in demand in a number of countries, particularly those in growing economies such as in Asia. If you want to fulfill an ambition of working abroad, then this is certainly possible with a career as an actuary.

3. Challenging and Stimulating Work

Only the most able and determined of people make it through the actuarial exams to become fully fledged actuaries. The daily work is not as demanding as the exams but it is still challenging. The daily work requires a range of skills. A good business sense, an analytical mind and the ability to get your head around difficult concepts are all necessary. Problem solving and independent thinking are great tools that are needed also.

2. Good Working Hours

A great number of actuarial jobs provide good working hours. These may be regular 9 to 5, Monday to Friday jobs. 40 hours a week is not as bad as some careers where you have to do lots of overtime. Although there are some actuarial positions where this is necessary, it is not the norm. Considering some of the jobs with similar salaries, 40 hours a week is quite reasonable.

1. The Money

One of the greatest reasons to become an actuary is, of course, the money. Actuaries can start off with a salary of £20,000 and earn anywhere up to or over £100,000 in the final part of their career. Actuaries are consistently rated as one of the best paying jobs out there. It is certainly one of the highest paid for Maths graduates and indeed for most degrees that only require four years of study.

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