An actuary uses mathematical analysis to assess the probability of complex risks and the impact of potential events on the overall health of a company. Actuarial work has a high level of responsibility as decisions and advice can have a huge impact. Actuaries work in a number of areas such as pension funds, insurance companies, healthcare providers and investment banks. To become a registered actuary, the qualification process can take 3 – 6 years. Most employers place a strong emphasis on numerical and analytical abilities but also client-facing and problem solving skills.

Here are some insights from graduates working in the actuary & risk management field:

1. Day-to-day tasks

‘A typical day can change often, depending on the project. I have spent time working on a client site full time, but other times can be in the office all day. I interact with senior people on a daily basis.’

‘Visit clients sites for a period of 1 week to 1 month, conduct meetings to discuss the controls in place and then assess the risks that would be associated if the controls were to fail. We then test each control for operating effectiveness and ensures appropriate back ups are in place to avoid a high risk situation. We then provide recommendations to the client to ensure they improve.’

‘Typically, an average day involves meeting with clients to discuss the processes in place and to determine whether they have sufficient controls in place to manage the risks they face. The job largely involves re-performing activities, data analysis and report writing.’

2. Best and worst 

‘Very varied work, responsibility early, good training, good hours, people are great to work with, clear career progression, lots of social events, lots of CSR work to get involved with. Some of the work can be quite dull.’

‘The chance to work with many different people on a variety of projects. The work tends to come in waves, so there are times when everyone is very busy and times when there is very little to do.’

‘Get to network and meet many different people. Each project is different so you are continuously building up different skills.’

3. Average working hours

9am – 6pm

4. Average graduate salary

£27,000 – £29,000

5. Interview tips

‘Understand what the role is, as it’s specific.’

‘Work performed in departments is very different, so research to be sure that you apply for the role that would suit you best.’

‘Research the company and the qualification. Be friendly and smile. Read the news to keep updated on current affairs. Prepare answers to situational and behavioural questions.’

Click here for the full collection of graduate job reviews for jobs in the actuary & risk management field.

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Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

Have your own questions prepared. It's your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Your interviewer will expect you to have...
Research the Company. Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview question "What do you know about this company?"
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