Qualified actuaries are in short supply, primarily because the barriers to entry are so high. Insurance firms typically recruit actuarial analysts into their training programmes who’ve performed well in numerate degrees such as actuarial science, maths, economics, engineering, chemistry or physics.
But completing your in-house training isn’t enough to describe yourself as an actuary. You must also study for three to six years to obtain a specialist qualification from the external actuarial body.
Once the arduous task of qualification is over, the demand for your specialist skills means you can potentially rise up the ranks comparatively quickly and gain managerial responsibility by your late-20s/early-30s. Most actuaries start out in a particular part of the insurance sector – such as life or reinsurance – but it is possible to change specialisms as your career progresses. Some actuaries work in risk roles in the banking sector or corporate sector, while other remain in insurance but shift into senior marketing, sales or product development jobs.