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Five things to know when considering a career as an actuary

Dec 27, 2019 | 2 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team
Five things to know when considering a career as an actuary

Do you know who or what is an actuary? An actuary is an individual who assesses and analyses risk and its financial implications in terms of cost. Actuarial science is mostly used in the insurance sector, in banking, financial services and all other industries where risk is an important factor.

Actuarial science involves the study of mathematics, statistics along with economics and finance theories and all this combined together helps actuaries to assess risk and come up with a risk matrix. It is based on this that we pay insurance premium on a life insurance policy and other forms of insurance that we buy.

So, if you want to be an actuary, what do you need to do?

Before we get that far, let us warn you that getting to be an actuary is very difficult and there are very few actuaries. There are only about 550-odd actuaries [1] in India now while there are roughly 8,000 students pursuing the course. The good news is however that actuaries are in great demand, because there are so few of them, and once you are an actuary you can be assured of a job. Calculating mortality rates are important for developing life insurance plans.

So, what are the things you need to do if you want to be an actuary?

  1. Academic qualifications: You need to have passed at least the 12th exam, which is the minimum. A graduate or postgraduate in a Mathematical subject with more than 55% marks are also eligible to apply for the course, which is mainly self-study course. Mathematical subjects include statistics and allied subjects, econometrics and computer sciences. Chartered accounts, cost accountants, and management graduates are all eligible.
  • Admission Process: If you fulfil the academic eligibility criteria, you can apply for the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET). At present, the registration fee for the exam is Rs 3000, which is non-refundable. The examination is conducted online at designated test centres. It is a 3-hour exam consisting of multiple-choice questions [2].
  • Student Membership: Once you pass the ACET, you must register for student membership at the Institute of Actuaries of India.
  • Actuarial Examination: There are two parts to the examination – a 3 hours written examination and practical examination. The written exam is in four stages – Core Technical, Core Application, Specialist Technical and Specialist Application. Each stage consists of several topics. At the last stage, you get to choose one subject out of six, in which you intend to specialise.

Before qualifying as an actuary there is a minimum requirement of three years’ work experience. The Institute of Actuaries of India also has a list of potential employers where you can get jobs.

  • Career Opportunities

Actuaries are in high demand and therefore anyone completing the course will be snapped up.

You can look at positions as a Licensed Insurance Surveyor, a Development Officer in insurance and more. Actuaries are also in demand in the pension sector and in employee benefits as well as consultancies engaged in risk management.

When you are an actuary, you must work closely with the product innovation team in insurance companies for innovations in covers and policies.

Moving forward, the insurance industry is expected to continue growing at a steady pace as a growing India will lead to increase insurance coverage. A career as an actuary can be exciting, challenging, and can provide fantastic growth opportunities. If you are embarking on this journey, we wish you the very best.  To know about Aegon Life Insurance products like term insurance and other products, visit our home page.


[1] Institute of Actuaries of India http://www.actuariesindia.org/subMenu.aspx?id=14&val=Who_can_become_an_Actuary?

[2] http://www.actuariesindia.org/subMenu.aspx?id=378&val=ACET_Background

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