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Actuary

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Summary of occupation

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

ANZSCO description: Analyses mathematical, statistical, demographic, financial or economic data to predict and assess the long-term risk  involved in financial decisions and planning. Registration or licensing is required.
Alternative names:
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Average
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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
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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.

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Salary details

On average, actuaries, mathematicians and statisticians can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.  

Actuaries who have completed the required postgraduate training and professional experience requirements to become a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia may earn $100 000 per year. As an actuary develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase. ​ 

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Tools and technologies

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

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an actuary you have to complete a degree majoring in Actuarial Science. 

The Bachelor Science (Actuarial Science) is offered at Curtin University. 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.​ 

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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