If you’ve just finished university or are close to finishing your final year, now is the time many actuarial graduates start their job search.
As you’ll be aware an actuary is someone that analyses data and works with risk metrics and statistics, using mathematical skill to assess or predict the probability of an event happening and its financial consequences. Actuaries are problem solvers and strategic thinkers with a deep understanding of the financial world. The decisions of actuaries can affect thousands of people and therefore it has a lot of responsibility.
Wherever there is risk, there are opportunities for actuaries.
What type of roles will actuarial graduates fulfil?
Actuaries are responsible for managing risk; using analyses based on mathematics, financial models, historical trends and predictive actuarial models. They help financial organisations to plan and prepare by predicting the effects of risk and change.
In insurance-related areas, actuaries work to assess what levels or rates of insurance companies should set for individuals and businesses, based on the scale of risk involved. They also perform legislative and advisory work, such as reporting detailed financial forecasts to senior management, making sure the organisation stays within the required legislation.
To qualify as an actuary can typically take anywhere from 2 to 6 years, depending on how many actuarial exemptions you have when leaving university. Continuing professional development (known as CDP) is required after qualification, to ensure the actuary stays up to date with the latest regulations, trends and developments in their practice area. This type of further actuarial training, along with ever-increasing relevant experience, will lead to a gradual progression to more senior actuarial positions (e.g. Chief Pricing Actuary, Chief Actuary, Head of Actuarial Function, Chief Risk Officer).
Public Service Roles
Actuaries advise the Department of Social Welfare on the costs and risks of providing state pensions due to the ever-increasing longevity profile of Irish citizens.
- Actuaries advise the Health Insurance Authority on the costs of Universal Healthcare.
- Actuaries advise the Pensions Authority on risks to the State of chronic underfunding in private pension scheme provision.
- Actuaries advise the Central Bank of Ireland on the interpretation of EU legislation and the supervision of the regulated entities in Ireland.
- Actuaries advise the HSE on a variety of financial and risk metrics.
- Actuaries are often involved in advisory roles for political parties, lobbying groups and trade unions.
Typical starting salaries for actuarial graduates would be in the mid to late €30,000’s and will progress rapidly as the trainee actuary gains valuable actuarial experience as they head towards the full actuarial qualification.