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You’re tempted? So where do you start?

Published on: 4 Oct 2016

First things first. If you want to move into the actuarial profession you’ll need an aptitude for maths. If you love data, numbers and problem solving you’ll be in your element.

Remember that different employers have different requirements for entry into an actuarial role so do take a look at our Directory of Employers or visit for an in depth understanding of the best route for you.

Routes to qualification

Making the grade

Your university course

If you’re already certain that a career as an actuary is for you, an actuarial science degree could be a great choice. Remember that whichever degree you chose, most employers will ask for a 2:1 or a 1st.

The vast majority of actuarial employers will want to see a degree with a numerate element. A degree which also ensures you develop strengths in important areas such as business, team work, leadership and communication would also be considered favourably.

It’s time to talk about the ‘E’ word: “Exams”

As with many professions, you learn the skills you need to qualify whilst working. Actuaries do need to sit a fair few exams. Ours is a rigorously controlled industry which operates to the highest technical and ethical standards. Which means you’ll have to demonstrate your skills and knowledge at many stages as you progress towards becoming fully qualified – and throughout your career. Remember your employer will support you through these exams and will help you gain the skills and techniques needed.

You’ll face a number of exams covering areas such as finance and financial mathematics, statistics and models, actuarial mathematics and audit trails.

You’ll also be tested to ensure you make the grade in your particular specialist area, such as Health and Care, Pensions or Insurance.

In addition you will be assessed, in your role, for at least a year as you build your all important work based skills.


Depending on the modules you take and the grades you obtain at university, and whether or not the course you choose is part of an IFoA accredited programme, you can be exempted from some of the actuarial exams.

These exemptions are agreed between IFoA and the universities themselves. Take a look at our website at studying/exam-exemptions to see the full list of participating universities. Remember that each university offers different courses so contact them directly for full details.

Degree courses suited to becoming an actuary:

Actuarial Science

Careers Guide 2017 [square] To read more from the official guide to actuarial careers please click here.