What Is An Actuary?

Chances are, if you’ve stumbled across this page, you’re looking into the actuarial profession as a potential port of call for your career. You’ll find actuaries working in private and public sector organisations across the board. In fact, professionals with actuarial skills are highly sought after. But what do they do exactly?

Essentially, actuaries calculate the risk levels facing companies through the analysis of past events and then work out whether companies can afford to take on certain projects. They also have to establish whether a company has enough assets in order to cover pay outs on insurance claims or pension schemes if and when they arise in the case of the insurance and pensions industries, if something should not quite go according to plan. Ultimately, therefore, an actuary’s role is to establish the risk of a project and whether it’s financially viable for the company in question to take it on.

As such, it’s a pretty high stakes game and a good actuary is worth their weight in gold, because they are able to predict how situations will turn out based on the analysis of events that have already happened in the financial world. The difference between a good and a bad actuary can be worth millions of pounds to the right company, because they can reveal which projects are worth a company taking on, and which are probably best put aside.

So how do they do this? Well, maths and statistics is at the core of an actuary’s role. They often start out as graduates from numerical degree backgrounds, equipped with plenty of statistical and mathematical ability to set them on their way. After that, experience and training are the making of a good actuary, and being able to perceive the market and events come with hard work, in-depth research, and a lot of dedication.