insurance actuary actuarial consultant actuarial analyst
Financial services

Career outlook for actuary

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would gather and analyse data to judge the probability and risks of different future scenarios.

You'd advise managers in companies and public bodies so they can make responsible decisions about how to spend the organisation's money.

You'd work with a lot of data and statistics. You'd research, analyse and interpret the data to forecast long-term financial costs for companies and governments.

You would:

  • Analyse past events, for example accident rates or medical data to analyse risks
  • Forecast the future financial outcomes of various situations
  • Use computers to build mathematical and statistical models
  • Explain your findings to government ministers or business clients
  • Keep up to date with the financial and business worlds

If you work in an insurance or pensions company you would design these financial products so that the companies can pay out money to customers when they need it but still make a profit for the company.

As a consultant you'd advise clients on major financial risks such as investing their money in the stock market or buying a business.

If you work for the Government Actuary's Department you'd advise other departments on the costs of policies like benefits, state pensions and healthcare.

You would work closely with other professionals such as insurance underwriters, investment managers and accountants.

Working conditions


You would typically work normal office hours, Monday to Friday, although you may need to be flexible. Part-time work and job sharing, once qualified, may also be available. During your training, it's common to spend around 15 hours a week studying for professional exams as well as working full time.


The work is mainly office-based. Dress code is usually formal.


You may travel to visit clients. This may be overseas.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Making decisions
  • Analysing
  • Understanding

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


You need an honours degree at 2:1 or above in a numerate subject (SCQF Level 10).

To enter a numerate degree such as accountancy requires minimum Highers BBBC, a relevant HNC/D or equivalent.

Alternatively, work-based qualifications, including a Modern Apprenticeship, may be available.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Accounts
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Business
  • ICT subjects
  • Science subjects.

You will also need

Once in a job you will need to achieve professional qualifications and become an Associate of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Helpful to have

Advanced Highers / Baccalaureates or a relevant HND may support entry to the second year or third year of some degree courses.