One of the greatest feelings for an actuarial student is to get your last set of actuarial results to find you are now a qualified actuary.
The question is – what do you do next ?
As an actuary, you have the enviable position of occupying one of the top, if not the top, jobs in the world as consistently voted by http://www.careercast.com/
We will explore the following topics for the newly qualified actuary:
This is your opportune time to develop or enhance a whole new skill set, particularly with regard to Managerial skills e.g. people management, mentor responsibility, delegation, performance management and conducting appraisals.
In addition you will typically be given extra responsibility, as noted by one newly qualified actuary: “Since qualifying I have found that I have been given more responsibility in the office. This includes working on new clients as well as moving up a level on the clients I have regularly worked on, increasing my direct client contact. The only downside is I now have to work five days a week!”
While you may have had different responsibilities as part of an actuarial rotational policy while a student, after you’ve qualified as an actuary you will typically specialise in one of the practice areas, at least initially.
These could be Pricing, Reserving, Capital Management (in a direct insurer or reinsurer, in either life insurance or general insurance) or a ore diverse role in actuarial consulting.
Or you could go travelling (see mutual recognition below).
The Institute & Faculty of Actuaries in the UK have published various salaries for varying levels of actuaries, from actuarial graduates to actuarial trainees to newly qualified actuaries all the way up to Chief Actuary and Head of Actuarial Function. These actuarial salaries can be seen at here.
There are a number of articles which highlight the salary levels for actuaries and these can be found here.
Sample job description
While each actuarial role will be different, on qualifying as an actuary you will be expected to develop or enhance not just your technical skills but also your softer skills.
These would include, inter alia:
One qualification, one world – your passport to travel.
Mutual recognition agreements signed by various Actuarial Institutes have facilitated global trade in actuarial services. The convergence of worldwide accounting standards and increasing similarity of regulation means the required skills and knowledge are becoming more generic and it is easier and more attractive for actuaries to work internationally, giving them the opportunity to experience different cultures and ways of life with an ease not previously available.
An overseas transfer or a temporary job while traveling can enhance your resume, giving you broader experience, new challenges, variety, new contacts, and the opportunity to work in a different culture and enjoy the benefits of the lifestyle.