Your First Actuarial Role

Once you have decided the actuarial profession is for you, it’s time to find your first actuarial role

The type of role you look for will depend on whether you are still in school, at university or a recent graduate – this might be work experience, a summer internship or trainee and graduate roles

With ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19, many of these roles are now virtual but there are still opportunities out there.

Work Experience

Alongside gaining the relevant qualifications, most employers agree that  gaining transferable workplace skills like team work and leadership through work experience, will help you stand out when you apply for your first trainee or graduate role. 

Some employers offer actuarial insight days, where you can visit their offices to see what it's like to work there, and work experience opportunities to students still at school. If you can’t find actuarial work experience opportunities, we recommend looking for work experience in the financial sector and beyond. You will learn how a business works, develop workplace skills and may even have the opportunity to learn about the actuarial function depending on your role. 

If you are looking for work experience opportunities, a great place to start is with your careers service and advisers. They can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, provide you with valuable advice about CVs and interviews and have connections with local employers.

Our Employer Directory has lots of information about the types of  work experience, graduate and trainee roles available and how to apply.

We also have a guide to work experience for aspiring actuaries, as well as some tips to help you prepare for a virtual interview.

Summer Internships

If you are a university students, we recommend applying for summer internships with actuarial employers. An internship will help you expand your network and, in some cases, may even lead to the offer of a graduate role. Although summer internships may be advertised throughout the year, it’s best to start looking and apply early to avoid disappointment. Many employers will begin advertising internships in October or November for the following summer, so don’t delay getting your applications in. 

You can find information about employers that offer summer internships in our Employer Directory.

We also recommend that you speak to your university or college career advice service. Your careers advisers are a valuable source of information on internships and other work experience opportunities and often hold events throughout the year where you can network with employers.

Job sites like Inside Careers and Actuarial Careers also advertise placements and internships

Trainee and Graduate Roles

Applying the knowledge and skills you gain from IFoA modules in the workplace is an essential part of qualifying as an Associate or Fellow with the IFoA. Whether you plan to take on an apprenticeship straight out of school or study for a university degree, you will need to find a trainee or graduate role in the actuarial profession to qualify as an actuary.  Each employer will have their own entry requirements for apprenticeship, graduate and trainee roles, but in general: 

  • school leaver apprenticeship roles will ask for an A Level in Maths, and  
  • graduate roles will ask for a 2:1 degree in a maths based subject. 

Like summer internships, gradate and trainee actuarial roles will often be advertised in October or November for the following year. However, actuarial apprenticeships may have a number of intakes throughout the year, so it is always best to check with individual employers about their specific start dates and entry requirements. 

Employers offering trainee and graduate roles can be found in our Employer Directory

Job sites like Inside Careers and Actuarial Careers also advertise graduate and trainee roles.

Whether you are on an apprenticeship or a graduate trainee role, you will gain valuable experience within the actuarial profession while studying for exams. Many employers will support your progress and will help:

  • fund your membership and exam fees
  • offer study days
  • enable you to earn whilst studying
  • provide you with on the job experience around elements of the exam material which will help you work towards your IFoA qualification. 

To find out more about the type of roles available in the actuarial profession take a look at our Employer Directory.

Need some advice on making an application or preparing for interviews? Check out our blog which will help you prepare for each stage of the application and interview process.

In addition, Chloe Hung, Amazon best-selling author, gives advice on succeeding at an actuarial interview in this IFoA Blog.

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Contact Details:

You can contact the Careers team at:  

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1-3 Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ

We aim to respond to all enquiries within five working days.
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