Actuary

Banking Finance and Insurance

 

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Actuaries analyse mathematical, statistical, demographic, financial and economic data to help predict and assess the long-term risks involved in financial decisions and planning. FutureGrowthModerate

They may work in areas such as investment, insurance, pensions and superannuation, banking, healthcare and government policy.

Actuaries calculate assets and liabilities, determine the financial strength of a company or department, ensure that investments are being managed correctly and help to determine a company’s financial status.

 

 

Insurance
Actuaries calculate insurance risks

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

An actuary needs:

  • an interest in finance and accounting

  • strong maths skills

  • problem solving skills

  • precision and detail in their work

  • good written and oral communication skills

  • good concentration and mental stamina

 

Duties and Tasks

As an actuary, you would work with companies, public bodies and government departments to help them forecast long-term financial costs and potential risks to investments.

Your typical tasks would be to:

  • Analyse statistics relating to factors such as accident rates, death, illness and other medical data , as well as current trends in the economy, to design new types of life insurance and superannuation policies

  • Determine appropriate premiums or contributions and rates of return by calculating the future probabilities of events such as unemployment, illness or changes in interest rates

  • Ensure insurance companies have sufficient financial reserves to meet claims

  • Advise companies on investment policy and the distribution of profits to policyholders

  • Undertake financial projections for, and measure and analyse the investment performance of, life insurance companies, financial institutions and government organisations - forecast future financial positions based on different scenarios

  • Provide advice to potential buyers or sellers of companies.

  • Examine financial projections for general insurance companies, finance companies, government and other organisations - assess the risks involved

  • Design new types of policies, assesses risks and analyses investments in life insurance, superannuation funds, health insurance, friendly societies, financial markets and other areas

  • Defines, analyses and solves complex financial and business problems relating to areas such as insurance premiums, annuities, superannuation funds, pensions and dividends.

  • Use computers to build mathematical and statistical models

  • Explain findings to managers, ministers or business clients

  • Keep up to date with the financial and business worlds.

 

Working conditions

Actuaries work in office environments. They may be required to work longer hours at certain points during the year and required to travel to clients’ offices.

You could work in any of the following settings:

  • life assurance, insurance or superannuation - designing policies and calculating premium rates

  • consultancy - advising clients on major financial risks such as investment funds or company takeovers

  • government - actuaries working in government advise government departments on the costs of social security benefits, state pensions and healthcare.

You would work closely with other professionals such as insurance underwriters, investment managers and accountants.

Tools and technologies

Actuaries use office equipment such as computers, telephones, photocopiers and fax machines, as well as specialist financial and accounting software.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an actuary you have to complete a degree majoring in Actuarial Science. The course usually takes three years full time or equivalent to complete.

To be recognised as an actuary under Australian legislation, you must become an Associate or Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (or of certain overseas bodies).

To become an Associate or Fellow you must complete an accredited degree in Actuarial Science and satisfactorily complete additional examinations set by the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, complete a recognised professional course and complete two years practical work experience.​

Employment Opportunities

This is a small, highly skilled profession, providing expertise that is in steady demand throughout the world. Government, insurance, superannuation, wealth management, investments, health financing and banking are the more readily recognised fields in which actuaries work, but they also work in new, high-growth fields, such as data analytics, energy resources and the environment. Many actuaries also hold executive positions in the operational management of financial institutions. Some actuaries work as consultants. Entry to this occupation is restricted by the standards required.

Did You Know?

 

Why choose actuarial studies - UNSW

https://youtu.be/OkoEIfI1NZM


 

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