What is an Actuary?

An actuary is a business professional who designs solutions to problems that involve financial risk or future uncertainty.

Their work includes:

  • Working out an appropriate price for insurance contracts;
  • Advising on how to manage funds so as to be able to pay insurance benefits and pensions as and when they fall due – which might be many years from now;
  • Advising on the amount of savings needed so as to have a comfortable retirement;
  • Developing mathematical and financial models to help companies to understand and manage their risks in today's complex and rapidly changing financial environment.   

A growing number of actuaries are expanding into other businesses beyond the financial services sector, where their analytical and risk management expertise add considerable value.

To do their work, actuaries use statistical and mathematical techniques to study past events and anticipate future events.  Through their education and training, actuaries develop strong analytical skills together with a thorough knowledge of financial theory, economics and the legislation and regulation that applies to financial services.

The actuarial qualification is highly regarded, both nationally and internationally.  As an actuary’s career progresses, so too do the opportunities for a variety of intellectually and financially rewarding career paths, from specialising in technical research to focusing on more commercial activities.  The actuarial profession is an ethical profession with the highest standards of practice.  It is also a profession in which you can make your mark.

To become an actuary, you need to be intelligent, confident with numbers and prepared for many years of study.  However, if you enjoy problem-solving and communicating your solutions to others, there are few careers with more to offer.

If you are interested in pursuing this career, we recommend that you discuss it with an actuary, who should be able to answer any questions that you may have.  We would be happy to put you in touch with an actuary for this purpose, if you wish - just contact us at info@actuaries.ie.