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Actuary CV Writing Tip's

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Actuary CV Writing Service

Actuary CV Writing Service

If you are interested in economics and business, and you are highly skilled in maths and statistics, this job could be ideal for you.

Actuaries use mathematics, statistics and economics to judge probability and risk, in order to solve business problems and help companies and governments to forecast long-term financial costs.

In this job you will be working with a lot of data – researching, analysing and interpreting it. You will need good business sense and an understanding of financial markets. You will also need a logical approach and sound judgement.

To work as an actuary, you must qualify as an Associate or Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. This involves studying for professional exams whilst working as a trainee actuary. Minimum entry requirements are two A levels, with at least a B in maths and a C in the other subject, although many entrants have a degree in a relevant subject area such as maths or business.

The work

As an actuary, you could work in any of the following settings:

  • life assurance, insurance or pensions (designing policies and calculating premium rates so that companies can cover pay-outs and still make a profit)
  • consultancy (advising clients on major financial risks such as investment funds or company takeovers)
  • the Government Actuary’s Department (advising government departments on the costs of social security benefits, state pensions and healthcare).

Your typical tasks would include:

  • analysing past events, for example accident rates or medical data
  • assessing the risks involved
  • forecasting the future financial outcomes of various situations
  • using computers to build mathematical and statistical models
  • explaining the findings to managers, ministers or business clients
  • keeping up to date with the financial and business worlds.

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


Hours

You would typically work normal office hours, Monday to Friday, although you may need to be flexible. Part-time work and job sharing, once qualified, may also be available.

During your training, it’s common to spend around 15 hours a week studying for professional exams as well as working full time.

The work is mainly office-based, but you may travel to visit clients. This may be overseas. Dress code is usually formal.


Income

  • Student actuaries typically earn around £31,000 a year
  • Newly-qualified actuaries earn around £44,000
  • Senior actuaries and consultants can earn between £53,000 and £65,000
  • Senior management and partner salaries can be between £75,000 and £184,000.

Salaries may be increased by bonuses. Earnings can be higher in consultancy firms than in financial services companies.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

Your main route into actuarial work will usually be via a graduate training programme. These are offered by major employers.

To work as an actuary, you must qualify as an Associate or Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (which operates under the name of The Actuarial Profession). Your first stage is to join the Institute as a student member, and then study for professional exams whilst working as a trainee actuary.

To become a student member, you will need one of the following:

  • a third class degree or higher, including a pass in mathematical sciences as a major subject
  • a first or second class honours degree in any subject, together with at least grade C at A Level in any mathematical subject or equivalent, for instance the Business, Administration and Finance (BAF) Diploma.
  • two A Levels including maths at grade B or above and any other subject at grade C or above.

To get onto a maths-based degree course you will usually need at least five GCSEs (A-C) plus two A levels or equivalent qualifications, including a good grade in maths. Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Although the minimum entry requirement is A Levels, most employers seek candidates that have obtained degrees in subjects like mathematics, statistics or actuarial science and risk management. Other useful degree subjects include economics, physics, finance, statistics, chemistry, engineering and accounting.

It is increasingly common for trainee actuaries to already have a postgraduate qualification in a numeracy subject.

If you have a relevant degree (for example, actuarial science) or postgraduate qualification, you may be exempt from some of the professional exams.

You may improve your chances of finding a trainee position if you have some work experience in an actuarial department.  You may also switch into actuarial work from a related profession, like risk management or business analysis and follow the same training route as other actuaries.

Many employers prefer you to begin actuarial training within four years of graduating, but this is not always essential if you have previous relevant work experience.


Training and development

To qualify as an Associate member of the profession (AIA), which can take between three and six years, you must pass the following stages of training by examination or exemption:

  • Core Technical Stage (nine exams including statistical modelling, economics and financial and actuarial mathematics)
  • Core Applications Stage (three exams, including actuarial risk management, model documentation, analysis and reporting and communication to test that you can apply technical knowledge to practical situations)
  • attend a one-day professionalism course for Associates.

The exams can also be tailored to the area of finance you are working in, covering life and healthcare insurance, pensions, general insurance, finance and investment or risk management. Study is mainly by distance learning and tutorials, or by attending university courses.

If you want to study to an advanced level or specialise in a particular actuarial field, you can qualify as a Fellow by passing two further exams in Specialist Technical subjects, and one Specialist Applications paper.

If you have a degree or postgraduate qualification in actuarial science, statistics or economics, you may be exempt from some or all of the exams at the Core Technical Stage and some at the next stage. Contact The Actuarial Profession for more information.

As a qualified Associate or Fellow actuary, you are required to keep your skills up to date by continuing professional development (CPD), which The Actuarial Profession supports. This can include activities such as attending professional meetings and course, research, private study and reading.


Skills and knowledge

To be an actuary you will need to have:

  • advanced skills in maths and statistics
  • the ability to research, analyse and interpret data
  • excellent spoken, written and presentation communication skills
  • the ability to explain complex information
  • good business sense and sound judgement
  • a logical approach to problem-solving
  • excellent computer skills
  • the ability to pay attention to detail but also see the bigger picture
  • the ability to work well as part of a team and also independently
  • confident making decisions
  • high level of understanding about financial markets and business
  • good teamwork ethic.

Opportunities

You might work for an investment institution, bank, life assurance or healthcare insurer, general insurance/reinsurance company, pensions scheme provider, the Government Actuary’s Department, a management consultancy or an accountancy practice. Life assurance and pensions consultancies are the largest sectors employing actuaries, with general insurance currently the fastest growing sector. Nearly 40% of the UK’s qualified actuaries are based overseas.

Jobs are mainly advertised in The Actuary magazine, insurance magazines and on The Actuarial Profession website.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The financial services industry is represented by the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) which includes the following activities:

  • Banking – for individuals and businesses to manage their money, access loans, buy property, exchange currencies and many other activities. It is organised into three core categories: Retail; Corporate; and Wholesale banking.
  • Investments – managing and growing the wealth of individuals and organisations
  • Insurance – covers a huge variety of risks, from cars and houses to ships, planes and satellites.
  • Financial Advice – about working with people to plan their financial goals, based on their current situation and looking at the best ways they can achieve their financial objectives, such as helping someone to choose a mortgage, invest their savings or plan for their retirement.

Almost 1.2 million staff in 34,000 workplaces constitute the UK’s financial services sector, from online car insurers to retail banking giants, and from self‐employed independent financial advisers (IFAs) to global investment banks. Operating under a regulatory framework unique to the UK, the sector facilitates the allocation of capital, promotes confidence and continuity in life and business by managing risk and maintains the transaction systems that the rest of the economy relies on to conduct its business.

Key facts:

  • 47% of firms employ 250 people.
  • Employment is dominated by a handful of large employers, most notably the high street retail banks, e.g. Barclays, HSBC.
  • 29 % of the financial services workforce is employed in administrative or secretarial roles.
  • About a quarter of the workforce is in associate professional and technical roles.
  • Managerial roles, including owners in private companies and the self‐employed, account for 37% of the workforce.
  • Employment growth in UK financial services has been weak when compared with other countries, notably the US
  • Recently, there have been notable declines in employment numbers because of the recession
  • Staff turnover has declined, as fewer vacancies and concerns about the recession may be deterring people from changing jobs

Jobs in the industry range from:

  • Insurance – underwriting, broking, customer services, sales, risk management, compliance, training, actuarial and administrative roles
  • Investments – asset management (sometimes called fund management), product development, product management, investment analysis, relationship management
  • Banking – retail banking (customer services, customer advice, financial advice, foreign exchange and branch management); corporate banking (corporate advice, relationship management, small business management and corporate management); and wholesale banking (mergers and acquisitions, research, sales and trading, and corporate finance)
  • Financial advice – mortgage adviser, independent financial adviser, compliance practitioner, pensions adviser

National and regional data

East Midlands – retail banking dominates financial services employment in the East Midlands. Women make up 53% of the workforce and 51% of workers are aged 35‐59. Full‐time employees account for 73% of the workforce and the average salary is £29,383.

East of England – insurance and insurance broking make up the most important parts of the financial service economy in this region, with Norwich a main centre. The region employs 12% of the country’s financial services workforce, with the majority, 88%, full‐time. Men make up 56% of employees, with 57% of workers aged 35‐59. Average earnings are £34,433.

London – this is the major centre of the UK’s financial services industry, centering on the City and Canary Wharf. Wholesale banking and insurance, investments and exchange markets are all well represented here. Almost of quarter of the workforce; 24% is based in London. Men make up 66% of the workforce and most jobs are full‐time, 94%. The majority of employees; 49% are aged 20‐34 and the average salary is £86,779 although this is heavily skewed by the number of high‐earning posts in the City. For most, the average is much lower.

North East – insurance broking and banking are the most important financial services in the region, with Newcastle the main centre of activity. Around 3% of the UK workforce is based in the region. Women form 66% of the workforce and 63% of workers are full‐time. Employees aged 34‐59 make up the largest share of the workforce at 52%, and the average salary is £27,219.

North West – Manchester is the biggest centre in the region but Chester, Macclesfield and Stockport are important clusters. Banking and general insurance form the bulk of businesses. The region employs 9% of the UK’s financial services workforce, with women making up 56% of employees, and most jobs are full‐time, 80%. Workers aged 34‐59 form the largest section of the workforce at 57%. The average salary in the region is £28,416.

South East – the region is second only to London in size, taking up 15% of the workforce. The gender split between men and women is fairly even at 54% and 46%, respectively, and 60% of all employees are aged 34‐59. Most people are employed full‐time, 84% and the average earnings are £37,298.

South West – The main centres for financial services in this region are Bristol, Bournemouth, Gloucester and Swindon. The sector here makes up 7% of the UK’s sector total. Women form 59% of the workforce and the majority of jobs are full‐time, 75%. People aged 34‐59 form the largest share of the workforce. Average salary for the sector is £34,910.

West Midlands – the region employs around 6% of the UK’s workforce, with the majority centred on Birmingham. Banking, general insurance and credit are the most important sub‐sectors here. Men make up 52% of employees, with 72% of jobs overall being full‐time. Workers aged 34‐59 are in the majority at 52%. The average salary is £29,014.

Yorkshire and the Humber – the emphasis across the region is on retail banking and makes up 7% of the country’s workforce. There are slightly more women than men working in the sector at 51%, and 81% of jobs are full‐time. Once again, the 34‐59 age range is most common among employees, accounting for 51%. Average earnings are £27,481.

Scotland – financial services in Scotland range from retail banking to pensions and car insurance, with centres of activity in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dunfermline. Over 2,100 companies are directly involved in the industry, providing 7% of the UK’s financial services workforce. The most common age range of employees is 34‐59, and most people work full‐time, 81%. The average salary for the sector as a whole is £35,016.

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