What Is An Actuary?

If you really love maths and want a rewarding career where you can really make a difference, the actuarial profession is for you!

Here we help you understand what an actuary iswhat they dowhere they work, and why you should consider becoming an actuary.

What is an actuary?

Actuaries are problem solvers and strategic thinkers, who use their mathematical skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events. They use these skills to predict the financial impact of these events on a business and their clients.

Businesses and governments increasingly depend on the skills of actuaries and analysts to help them model and plan for the future. As the world changes at an increasingly rapid pace, risk management expertise can help businesses navigate this evolving landscape. Discover your strengths and find out if you could become an actuary in our online personality quiz.


What is an Actuary? Watch our members explain!

What does an actuary do?

Actuaries possess a unique mix of mathematical, analytical, communication and management skills. They apply their abilities to create social impact, inform high-level strategic decisions and have a significant impact on legislation, businesses, and peoples' lives.

Actuaries are creative, curious and adaptable and it’s this learning mindset that helps them succeed in the digital age. Actuaries’ unique combination of technical skills and professional acumen ensures they will continue to make a difference, guarding against the impacts of future uncertainty.

Find out more about where the actuarial profession can take you in our blog 'What do actuaries actually do?'.

Additionally, John Townhill, Actuarial Consultant at Barnett Waddingham, discusses some misinterpretations of becoming an actuary in his blog available to read on the IFoA Blog.


I enjoy my job, in fact, I love my job! I first heard about the actuarial profession from my A level Mathematics teacher. He described it as “… the perfect career for maths lovers!"

Prudence Maseko

Where do actuaries work? 

Although actuaries are often associated with traditional fields such as life, pensions, and insurance, there are an increasing number of actuaries moving into a hold range of new areas. Health, banking and finance, technology, and climate change are just some of the areas where you can now find actuaries. 

The rise of artificial intelligence and data science are challenging actuaries to think differently and are creating new opportunities that previously never existed. Whether you work in-house within an organisation or in a consultancy firm supporting different clients, you will enjoy a financially rewarding career where can grow, develop, and be challenged.

Take a look at our Employer Directory to discover more about where actuaries work.

Chloe Hung, Amazon best-selling author, talks about some of the traditional and new industries you could work in as an actuary on the IFoA Blog.


What does the future hold for actuaries?

Why should you become an actuary?

Being an actuary means having the opportunity to apply highly valued mathematical skills and expertise in a diverse, exciting and challenging career that really makes a difference. Your hard work is rewarded with a highly competitive salary and a good work/life balance in comparison to similarly paid professions in the financial services, such as investment banking.

Find out how the actuarial profession compares to other career paths

As a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) you will be part of a globally recognised profession. Our qualifications are internationally-recognised and will enable you to work in many countries around the world. The IFoA also has Mutual Recognition Agreements with overseas actuarial professional bodies, so once you have qualified, it is often easy to transfer to another professional body.

Find out how you can become an actuary.

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