Are you a mathematically minded person and possess good analytical abilities?
Actuaries perform mathematical, statistical, economic, and financial analyses to examine and reduce risk in different business environments. They use their specialized knowledge to help businesses develop the right corporate plan for growth and future investments.
To become an Actuary in Australia, you must complete an accredited Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Studies or a Bachelor of Actuarial Science. You must also complete an Actuaries Institute Education Program to work as a qualified actuary.
Whether you are serious about becoming an actuary or just curious about the role, this article will tell you what it’s like to become an Actuary and how you can become one.
1. What Is An Actuary?
Actuaries are business professionals who measure and manage risk and uncertainty in a business to help maintain their financial health.
They conduct statistical analysis of bulk data based on trends and costing to decide whether an insurance product should be issued and at what premium. They may adjust premium rates and terms if needed based on their examination.
2. Reasons To Study Actuary Qualifications
Do you need clarification about whether an Actuary qualification will benefit you?
Here are the top reasons why studying for this versatile degree will boost your employment prospects:
3. Duties And Responsibilities Of An Actuary
A typical day of an actuary involves several challenging tasks such as:
Apply mathematical, economic, financial, and statistical analysis to business areas concerning insurance premiums, dividends, retirement funds, annuities, and pensions to evaluate risks and opportunities
Inspect and analyze statistics to identify risks and compute the likely financial consequences of such risks.
Prepare fiscal models, budgets, financial reserves, and monetary projections for general insurance and life insurance firms, government organizations, banking, and loan lending institutions, etc.
Assess the likelihood of future events such as unemployment, economic trends, interest rate change, and illness. Further, specify premiums and possible return rates, and design new types of retirement, life insurance, and policies for clients.
Ensure companies have adequate funds to reduce the impact of uncertainty and risk.
Plan future investments based on the financial risk assessments of businesses
Advise potential buyers or sellers on profit distribution
4. What Skills Do You Need To Become An Actuary?
Every career requires some basic skills to perform the job, and the actuary is no different.
To thrive in this demanding profession, you need the following skills:
Enjoy solving problems
An eye for detail
Good Advising skills
Able to manage large data streams to determine trends
Expertise in regulatory issues, risk and compliance, and policymaking,
Superior Estimation and Analytical skills
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Able to think logically and clearly
Good working knowledge of MS Excel
Able to work independently
Able to manage risks
Able to form data-based decisions
5. Relevant Qualifications To Become An Actuary In Australia?
Employers in Australia prefer job applicants who are qualified and have work experience to work in this role:
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English and Mathematics
An undergraduate degree in actuarial science or statistical analysis, such as a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies or a Bachelor of Actuarial Science.
Complete the “Part II and Part III syllabus” offered by the Actuaries Institute, the governing body for actuaries in Australia.
Aspiring actuaries must also complete the 3 -year practical experience and the professionalism course and gain a fellowship from the institute to become a qualified associate actuary.
6. Steps To Become An Actuary In Australia
The roadmap to becoming a qualified actuary takes years of hard work, dedication, and continuous study.
The entire coursework comprises four parts that we are going to look at here in detail:
Step 1: Complete The Part 1 or Foundation Program
Pursuing an Actuary profession starts with studying for an undergraduate actuarial degree, such as a bachelor’s degree in actuarial studies.
The degree provides comprehensive knowledge of eight basic subjects such as:
Probability & mathematical statistics
Finance & financial reporting
Step 2: Complete The Actuary Program
Once you qualify, the next step is to learn the practical implementation of technical actuarial knowledge. It is for valuing, pricing, and solvency measurement to various real-time problems across different business settings.
The Actuary program provides a holistic view of principles and concepts involved in actuarial work. It enables students to apply the skills in different types of businesses.
Thus, a student gets an outline of the actuarial work in developing and continuing the administration of a financial product, scheme, or enterprise.
There are a total of 4 subjects covered in the program. Two of which are taught by the below-mentioned universities:
Macquarie University, Sydney
University of Melbourne
Australian National University, Canberra
University of New South Wales, Sydney
The remaining two subjects are delivered online by the Actuaries Institute. The entire program comprises a series of training, management, and assessment that makes newly qualified actuaries ready to start their practice.
Those who have completed the Actuary program qualify for admission into the Actuaries Institute.
After, they can attend the online “Fellowship Program” and obtain the legal status of ‘actuary’ in Australia.
Step 3: Take Up A Professionalism Course
It is a 3-day residential seminar explicitly designed for newly qualified actuaries.
It gives them a gist of being an actuary professional and teaches the ethical and legal responsibilities associated with this profession.
Step 4: Gain The Experience
Along with the above qualifications, you must complete a minimum of 1 year of relevant practical experience approved by the Actuaries Institute.
Qualified actuaries with an equivalent overseas qualification can become Accredited Members of the Actuaries Institute after staying in Australia for six months and attaining relevant work experience.
National bodies related to actuaries are:
7. Relevant Actuary Degree Courses In Australia
Bachelor of Actuarial Studies - UNSW
Studying actuary at UNSW prepares students for quantitative roles in insurance, retirement planning, and financial services industries.
The course helps them develop specialized quantitative skills in financial mathematics, actuarial models, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence analytics, probability, and commerce.
Industry experts design the course to ensure that the knowledge, experience, and skills, gained are relevant and in demand.
Internship and networking opportunities and the ability to choose the area of specialization help students advance professionally and diversify their careers in various fields such as finance, investment banking, government, consulting, insurance, and superannuation.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science
Monash University conducts three years accredited full-time Bachelor of Actuarial Science course equipping students with the required analytical and technical skills. It helps them to evaluate, recognize, and manage risk from financial perspectives.
Students will learn the following: finance, economic statistics, macroeconomics, corporate finance, microeconomics, debt markets, financial accounting, and fixed incomes securities. Additionally, they will learn how to implement mathematical concepts in real-life cases.
8. How Long Does It Take To Become An Actuary In Australia?
Becoming a qualified Actuary in Australia requires a combination of a Bachelor of Actuary Studies (4 years), practical experience (3 years), and professional examinations.
It may take seven years or more to start working as an Actuary in Australia.
9. Work Conditions For Actuaries
Full-time actuaries usually work traditional hours of 42 hours per week, which is comparable to the industry’s average of 44 hours.
They may need to work overtime to meet strict deadlines.
Actuary mainly works in an office environment, mostly indoors in a comfortable setting. While at work, actuaries primarily work with people in a team.
Most actuaries work for insurance firms. Some financial service providers have dedicated actuarial departments that administer investment risks.
Nature of Employment
Based on Job Outlook, around 79% of actuaries in Australia work full-time, which is higher than the industry’s average of 66%.
This shows that the profession is ideal for those seeking a full-time position in the industry.
The average age of Actuaries employed in Australia is 37 years compared to the industry’s average of 40 years.
A good percentage of females, i.e., 43%, work in this profession. This shows the job presents favourable work opportunities for both male and female candidates.
10. Employment Opportunities For An Actuary In Australia
Actuary courses In Australia are globally relevant and enable a qualified actuary to work in developing and developed economies throughout the globe. Actuaries work as consultants or executives in financial institutions assisting different organizations.
The top three conventional industries that recruit Actuaries regularly are:
Financial and Insurance Services (Banks, Fund Management, Superannuation Insurance, Investments), Government, Scientific and Technical Services, and Academic and Training.
11. Job Prospects For Actuaries In Australia
This is a small profession that employs highly skilled professionals. The number of workers rose strongly over the last five years, with around 9,800 actuaries working in 2020. The government expects moderate and steady future growth in this sector.
Besides working as an actuary, they can use their skills in various other professions, such as life insurance, general insurance, health insurance, superannuation policies, and more.
12. How Much Does An Actuary Earn In Australia?
According to Indeed data, the average actuary salary in Australia is $107,640 annually.
The average weekly and hourly actuary salary in Australia is $1,969 and $71.18per hour, respectively.
Highest Paying Australian Cities For Actuaries Are:
Brisbane QLD: $109 per hour
Melbourne VIC: $88.05 per hour
Sydney NSW: $66.39 per hour
Canberra ACT: $56.99 per hour
Surry Hills NSW: $54.50 per hour
Actuary Salary Based on Experience:
Based on PayScale data, an entry-level Actuary salary (< 1-year experience): is AU$71,818 per year.
An early career Actuary salary (1 to 4 years of experience): AU$85,000 per year.
A mid-career Actuary salary (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$119,832 in a year.
An experienced Actuary salary (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$118,704 in a year.
Actuarial science is among the most highly challenging and rewarding careers globally. Becoming an Actuary requires several years of learning. However, the effort you put in will be well worth it.
Aspiring actuaries should know that actuarial science qualifications open the doorway to career opportunities in the finance, banking, and mathematics industries.
Considering the continuous technological growth, they must have a passion for a lifetime of learning to succeed and endure in this profession.
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