How to Become an Actuary?

7 minute read
How to Become an Actuary

Wondering what is the main role of an actuary? Basically, it is crunching numbers. If you look at a number plate and have equations racing in your mind, then actuarial science is the career for you. Read the following blog to know how to become an actuary, skills required, job roles, etc.

Who is an Actuary? 

By definition, actuaries are problem solvers and strategic thinkers who use mathematics as their ultimate medium to derive conclusions and find solutions. They help businesses, governments and reputed organisations in leveraging risk and providing mathematical analysis. 

Roles and Responsibilities

If you become an actuary, this is what your job responsibilities would look like:

  • Identify the need/goals of the organisation/business for the information analysis
  • Apply advanced actuarial techniques to the data available
  • Draw conclusions specific to your goals
  • Detailed suggestions on how risk can be evaded and profits are maximised.

Skills Required

Before deciding on becoming an actuary, you must identify whether your interests match the skills required to become an actuary. The skills necessary to become an actuary are knowledge-intensive and therefore require an eye for detail. Mentioned below are the skills required for an actuarial career are:

  • Analytical problem solving
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel and other data recording platforms
  • Numeracy skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Up-to-date with the finance, economics and accounts aspects of the business

Types of Actuaries

Although the job role and skills are generalised for actuaries across all sectors, we do have industry-specific actuaries as well. 

Job TypesJob Description
Life InsuranceIt is the most common actuarial job which involves reinsurance. policies.
PensionDeriving the strategic pension plan.
Health Insurance Predicting the actual cost of health insurance.
Finance They work for corporate finance like mergers and acquisitions.
Investment Evading risk management strategies.
Enterprise Risk Identifying critical risks of the organisation.
Property and CasualtyAnalysing risk emerging from natural and unnatural factors.
Pricing Determining the price of a product based on market analytics.
Forensic Giving litigation support to insurance companies.
ValuationDetermining values of company reserves.

Steps to Become an Actuary

How to become an actuary is a question every aspirant asks before setting foot in the industry.  The process of becoming an actuary in India can easily take 5 to 6 years including completion of all ACET exams and degrees. Let’s know at what age to look for pursuing actuary, and what education qualification is required.

  1. At the School Level– Students who aspire to make a career in this field have to take a stern decision from 10th itself. Take into consideration your mathematics and science scores while deciding. If you are interested, you need to study in PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics).
  2. At the Undergraduate Level– You have to search for colleges that offer actuarial science bachelor degrees. You have to give a university-specific entrance exam and then a round of personal interviews. 
  3. At the Postgraduate Level– You can either go for a masters or MBA in actuarial science depending upon your field of expertise. 

How to Become an Actuary in the UK?

If you are an Indian student looking to study actuarial science in the UK, remember that you have to first pursue a bachelor’s degree in the UK. The bachelor’s degree must have mathematics or statistics as its core subjects. In order to practise being an actuary in the UK, along with a degree, your internships also have to be in the UK. The total duration of becoming an actuary in the UK can be as long as 5 to 6 years including clearing all exams and degrees. 

Top universities in the UK to become an actuary are:

  • Bayes Business School
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Manchester
  • Queen Mary University London
  • Kent university
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Leeds

How to Become an Actuary in the US?

Becoming an actuary in the US is a difficult process. Since the demand and supply of actuaries in the US are rising, international students find it difficult in this competitive field. To be eligible for a masters in actuarial science in the US, some universities ask for a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  

Top universities in the US to become an actuary are:

How to Become an Actuary in Canada?

In Canada, the actuarial program is governed by the Canada Institute of Actuaries. 7.5% of actuaries from the CIA work around the world. You are required to give SATs to be enrolled in any actuarial science program in Canada. 

Top universities in Canada to become an actuary are:

How to Become an Actuary in India?

India is an ever-increasing market for actuaries. With more and more investment avenues like cryptocurrency, NFTs, etc., actuaries and their technical risk management schemes are much in demand. 

To become an actuary in India, you have to give exams in the 5 subjects of ACET to qualify as a technical actuary. The pass rate for each exam is a minimum of 50% failing which re-examination is taken. 

Top Courses

Apart from becoming an actuary through ACET exams, you can also pursue it through various degrees. If you wish to become an actuary through a degree, India offers bachelors, masters, PG Diploma and MBA degrees. 

B.Sc in Actuarial Science 

To be able to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science, you have to fulfil the following eligibility criteria. The duration of the degree is over 3 years and the minimum tuition fee for the same is Rs.30,000 per year.

  • 10+2 education where PCM subjects have been chosen.
  • A minimum of 50% in the above subjects.
  • A minimum entrance exam score for the university you are applying to.
  • In certain cases, a personal round of interviews.

Ace your university interviews by understanding these sample questions and answers!

M.Sc in Actuarial Science 

M.Sc in Actuarial Science after a bachelor’s degree is a popular combination actuarial aspirants go for. It is a 2-year program with specialisations offered in Mathematics, Statistics and Economics. 

The only eligibility requirement is a minimum grade in B.Sc or B.Com degree with mathematics and statistics as their main subjects. You will also have to pass their university-specific entrance exam to enter this program. The average tuition fee for M.Sc in Actuarial Science is Rs. 2 lakhs per year. 

MBA in Actuarial Science

As a graduate, you can either go for an M.Sc or an MBA in the field of actuarial science. Actuaries who look for jobs in the insurance field go for an MBA. This is because they gain more finance and business-related expertise. 

A bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science, Mathematical Science, Engineering Physics or Commerce with Mathematics and Statistics as the main subjects is its core requirement. You have to prepare for CAT CMAT or to gain the minimum score for MBA in Actuarial Science. 

PG Diploma in Actuarial Science

If you are looking for a short course in Actuarial Science then the PGDM course is just for you. It is a 1-year program, for which you have to give CAT or CMAT as the entrance exam. The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, mathematics or statistics from a reputed college. 

Best Universities Abroad

The need for highly qualified actuaries is increasing. Universities are providing the most advanced syllabuses when it comes to shaping the future actuaries globally. If you want to pursue actuarial science from the most prestigious colleges in the world then we’ve listed them down below and made it easy for you.

The best universities for Actuarial Science globally are as follows:


The salary you earn in this field is undeterminable on just the basis of your degrees. Your ACET exam status and grade majorly determine your starting salary. If you have successfully passed 3 or 4 exams, you can apply for internships. As the number of exams passed increases, so does your salary expectation.  In India, the average salary for an actuary is Rs.10.11 lakhs/annum. As a beginner, you can easily work as an actuary earning Rs. 3.50 lakhs/annum and it can go as high as Rs.50 lakhs/annum.

Globally, the demand for actuaries is going to increase by 20% in the coming decade. Talking about India, the supply is way lower than the demand. We have only 460 actuaries for 1.3 million people. To sum it up, actuaries may not be in trend right now but are one of the rapidly growing fields in our country. 


How many exams does one need to clear to be an actuary in India?

Students have to clear all 15 exams to be called an actuary.

Can I do part-time internships along with my papers?

Yes, after your 3rd or 4th paper, you can start looking for internships in the insurance sector.

Which country pays the actuaries the most?

According to the salary expert, actuaries in Switzerland receive the highest remuneration. 

How many years does it take to become an actuary in India?

The general time taken is 5 to 6 years. it depends upon the time you take to pass the exams.

What if I want to change my field from actuaries?

Yes, you can change your field. although with how many papers passed, you will be qualified enough to enter the fin service industry. 

Are the actuarial exams hard?

No, they are lengthy due to their in-depth questioning of each subject. 

When are the IAI exams conducted?

IAI exams are conducted twice a year in the months of May-June and October-November.

Do you have to go to exam centres to take the exam?

No, ACET 2021 exams have been held online. 

We hope to have covered the A-Z’s of how to become an actuary. Want to become an actuary in India or abroad? Our experts at Leverage Edu will help you through your admission process and also assist you in choosing the best scholarships for your dream university abroad. 

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