Starting salaries for graduates generally fall within the range of £25,000 to £35,000. Salaries vary according to location, and are usually higher in the London area.
Typical salaries for newly qualified actuaries in insurance companies may vary between £40,000 and £55,000. Salary progression is dependent upon the individual, performance, and the development of a career path. Increments are usually paid for examination success.
Salaries at senior level or with 10-15 years of experience are typically more than £60,000. There is a wide range of salaries for experienced actuaries, but high financial rewards and excellent benefits packages are common.
Salaries in excess of £185,000 are typical for senior directors.
Expect to work overtime, but not necessarily at the weekends or in shifts. In traditional areas of employment, long hours are less likely for more junior staff, e.g. graduate trainees, as they will be devoting time to study for professional examinations.
Self-employment and freelance work are possible but very unusual, as most actuaries are employed by large financial institutions.
Flexible and part-time work, as well as career breaks, can be negotiated with some employers, but this is usually dependent on the employer and individual's circumstances.
Jobs are quite widely available in most large towns and cities of the UK, although London has the largest proportion of jobs.
There are more than 25,000 members of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), of which just over half are students. Historically, most actuaries have been male but statistics show that 38% of student members are female (IFoA, 2013).
Actuaries are usually expected to maintain a smart business dress code but this varies between employers.
Examinations are an important part of an actuarial student's training, and study during this period may impact on your social and personal life.
Opportunities to travel vary between employers. For example, an insurance company with offices around the UK or abroad may require actuaries to travel from time to time. Visits to corporate clients may also be necessary, e.g. for those working in reinsurance. The amount of travel varies according to the type of actuarial work and the regional area.
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