Explore how actuaries shape the world

As an actuary, you're not just crunching numbers - you're well-paid and have access to global opportunities.

Imagine yourself as a Chief Risk Officer, influencing major decisions, or as a policy maker shaping the future. Dive into the exciting world of data science, or make a real difference through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, healthcare, or community services.

Being an actuary isn't just a job; it's an adventure in making a positive impact. 


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Work while you study 

This hands-on approach allows you to develop essential skills that are
crucial for your growth within the industry. 
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Learn from the success of others

Read the case studies below which provide a comprehensive
deep dive into different career possibilities.
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Build your network

Mingle at Insight Sessions, major events, and the Young Actuaries Program to connect with peers and leaders who can influence your career positively. 
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Land a career-defining role 

Via our job board with a diverse range of roles, from graduate to senior level across a range of sectors, the Jobs Board offers the chance to elevate your career with employers who recognise your value.  

Career case studies 

With endless possibilities at your fingertips, starting your actuarial career journey can seem overwhelming. To inspire and guide you, dive into the case studies below. These compelling stories illustrate how other actuaries have successfully navigated their paths, turning opportunities into fulfilling careers. Let their journeys spark your imagination and propel you toward designing your own career. 


Laura Wood
Reinsurance

"You can take on many different types of leadership and non-actuarial roles by applying your skillset, which makes for an exciting career ahead of you."

Laura Wood FIAA
Head of Reinsurance
Youi Insurance

Read more about Laura 

Laura Wood has 20 years' experience in insurance, reinsurance broking and reinsurance, spanning most major global markets and many lines of business. Throughout her career, she has honed her skills in leadership, business development, actuarial & underwriting practices, as well as strategy setting, claims and risk management. A strong communicator, Laura likes to build relationships, and drive & execute strategies to deliver measurable outcomes. One of her core passions is to develop and nurture talent.

How did you find out about this career (including study to qualify, or any changes in direction)?
Careers advice at my secondary school listed Actuary, Accountant and Stockbroker as a match for my skillset. I was still undecided at that stage and decided to study Maths with Finance at university. During my second and third years at uni, I was able to choose subjects. I found myself favouring the statistics and finance modules over the pure and applied maths ones. By the end of university, I knew I wanted to be an Actuary.

How did you land your first job?
I fell into general insurance by accident as many do! While I wanted to be an Actuary towards the end of uni, I was agnostic at that point about which discipline I would work in: Pensions, Life insurance, General Insurance or Investments. I moved back home (near Manchester) after uni for 6 months while I applied for Actuarial roles in London. In Manchester I got my first job via a temping agency, handling Home and Motor Claims for Co-op Insurance. I very much enjoyed their 3-week training course on insurance wordings, insured perils, handling claims. By the time I interviewed with Royal Sun & Alliance for an Actuarial Assistant position I had a lot to say about wordings and perils, I genuinely think that 3 months’ experience at Co-op landed me the RSA gig. At RSA I started my actuarial exams, and the rest is history!

What helped you build your career/progress?
Having a strong internal and external network has helped me get future jobs and settle into new ones well by already knowing some people. There have been some key training courses and books that have helped me develop my softer skills such as presenting, selling and negotiating. Lastly, having mentors and sponsors have been key to building my confidence, there’s no better feeling than knowing someone has your back.

From your experience, what advantages does being an actuary offer in the professional world?
Being an Actuary is not only a professional qualification that conveys you are an expert in your field, for me it is very much a state of mind. The problem solving, peer review, integrity and communication skills an Actuary requires are very transferable skills. Being an Actuary to me means you can take on many different types of leadership and non-actuarial roles by applying your skillset, which makes for an exciting career ahead of you.

What are the top 5 skills that an actuary should have? / What top 5 skills do you look for when hiring an actuary?
The ability to communicate well – verbally and written – with different stakeholders.
Having a strong handle on the numbers and detail, while being able to see the bigger picture. The so-what mindset.Seeking peer review and diversity of thought using questions and listening.

What exciting projects or work locations have you been exposed to?
I have been fortunate enough to work in the London Market close to the Lloyds’ Building for close to a decade. I now live and work in Sydney, which, as a Brit, means I always pinch myself. My reinsurance roles have also taken me interstate within Australia, and to other countries such as New Zealand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Zurich, Austria, New York and Bermuda.

How would you summarise yourself in one sentence?
I’m down-to-earth, energetic, and I get things done.

What advice would you give to young/aspiring actuaries?
Brace yourself for those exams, but also the elation of qualifying and getting your FIAA letters! Network your tail off, surround yourself with mentors and supporters, and be open to job opportunities that might not exactly align to your original intended career path, it's ok to climb a career gym vs a career ladder.


Reinsurance

"You can take on many different types of leadership and non-actuarial roles by applying your skillset, which makes for an exciting career ahead of you."

Laura Wood FIAA
Head of Reinsurance
Youi Insurance

Read more about Laura 

Laura Wood has 20 years' experience in insurance, reinsurance broking and reinsurance, spanning most major global markets and many lines of business. Throughout her career, she has honed her skills in leadership, business development, actuarial & underwriting practices, as well as strategy setting, claims and risk management. A strong communicator, Laura likes to build relationships, and drive & execute strategies to deliver measurable outcomes. One of her core passions is to develop and nurture talent.

How did you find out about this career (including study to qualify, or any changes in direction)?
Careers advice at my secondary school listed Actuary, Accountant and Stockbroker as a match for my skillset. I was still undecided at that stage and decided to study Maths with Finance at university. During my second and third years at uni, I was able to choose subjects. I found myself favouring the statistics and finance modules over the pure and applied maths ones. By the end of university, I knew I wanted to be an Actuary.

How did you land your first job?
I fell into general insurance by accident as many do! While I wanted to be an Actuary towards the end of uni, I was agnostic at that point about which discipline I would work in: Pensions, Life insurance, General Insurance or Investments. I moved back home (near Manchester) after uni for 6 months while I applied for Actuarial roles in London. In Manchester I got my first job via a temping agency, handling Home and Motor Claims for Co-op Insurance. I very much enjoyed their 3-week training course on insurance wordings, insured perils, handling claims. By the time I interviewed with Royal Sun & Alliance for an Actuarial Assistant position I had a lot to say about wordings and perils, I genuinely think that 3 months’ experience at Co-op landed me the RSA gig. At RSA I started my actuarial exams, and the rest is history!

What helped you build your career/progress?
Having a strong internal and external network has helped me get future jobs and settle into new ones well by already knowing some people. There have been some key training courses and books that have helped me develop my softer skills such as presenting, selling and negotiating. Lastly, having mentors and sponsors have been key to building my confidence, there’s no better feeling than knowing someone has your back.

From your experience, what advantages does being an actuary offer in the professional world?
Being an Actuary is not only a professional qualification that conveys you are an expert in your field, for me it is very much a state of mind. The problem solving, peer review, integrity and communication skills an Actuary requires are very transferable skills. Being an Actuary to me means you can take on many different types of leadership and non-actuarial roles by applying your skillset, which makes for an exciting career ahead of you.

What are the top 5 skills that an actuary should have? / What top 5 skills do you look for when hiring an actuary?
The ability to communicate well – verbally and written – with different stakeholders.
Having a strong handle on the numbers and detail, while being able to see the bigger picture. The so-what mindset.Seeking peer review and diversity of thought using questions and listening.

What exciting projects or work locations have you been exposed to?
I have been fortunate enough to work in the London Market close to the Lloyds’ Building for close to a decade. I now live and work in Sydney, which, as a Brit, means I always pinch myself. My reinsurance roles have also taken me interstate within Australia, and to other countries such as New Zealand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Zurich, Austria, New York and Bermuda.

How would you summarise yourself in one sentence?
I’m down-to-earth, energetic, and I get things done.

What advice would you give to young/aspiring actuaries?
Brace yourself for those exams, but also the elation of qualifying and getting your FIAA letters! Network your tail off, surround yourself with mentors and supporters, and be open to job opportunities that might not exactly align to your original intended career path, it's ok to climb a career gym vs a career ladder.

Laura Wood

Ray Bennett
Life Insurance

"I’ve worked all over the world, on every continent except Antarctica."

Raymond Bennett FIAA
Currently on sabbatical

Read more about Raymond 

Raymond is an actuary with a global career spanning over 25 years, working across Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and South-East Asia. He has 21 years' experience as a consultant and 4 years in the insurance industry.  

Throughout his career, Raymond has focussed on capital management and financial reporting. He has a wide variety of experience gained as a consultant, and this breadth of technical expertise, coupled with his strong communication skills, enables him to effectively lead and develop teams to provide valuable technical input and insights to his clients’ businesses.  

Why did you become an actuary? 
Like many people in the profession, I was good at maths and hence becoming an actuary was suggested as an option. After some investigation, I could see that the actuarial qualification was a good challenge with a high bar to get into the course at university and tough exams through the Institute – and that it would lead to good career prospects (which is has!). 

How did you find out about this career (including study to qualify, or any changes in direction)?  
My cousin is an actuary and was studying actuarial science at university when I was considering what to do in my final year of school. I did some research, including speaking to an actuary in Perth and doing work experience with him. In the end, I applied to several universities for actuarial and other courses. Initially I got into the IT program at UWA, but a few weeks later Macquarie University also offered me a place in their actuarial program. I was working in a kitchen on a mine in WA at the time and still remember receiving the phone call from my parents at a public phone onsite! And so, I packed my bags and moved to Sydney to study. I managed to get all my exemptions from university and ended up doing the Control Cycle in the evenings whilst working – clearly, I was very busy at the time as I never noticed that the “Matrix” was being filmed in Sydney despite attending lectures close to the set... I did my last exam (investments) in the Australian Consulate in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and had a memorable celebration once I finished the exams. I did the final step (the Professionalism Course) in Woollongong and remember that one afternoon was spent playing beach volleyball!

How did you land your first job?
Whilst I was at university I applied for and did several work experience jobs during the long break over the December/January holidays. I initially worked on a mine as I had a scholarship with Normandy Poseidon which included this option (I was in their accounting team but have been down a mine and held a $250k gold bar whilst locked in a cage to prevent me running off with it!). I then worked at MLC in their unit pricing team, and this was extended due to one of the team having to have an operation. In my third year (my plan was to do a fourth year and complete the control cycle) I landed a work experience role at Commonwealth Financial Services (which was owned by the Commonwealth Bank and later merged with CMLA to become CommInsure, now part of AIAA) in their valuation team. After a few people resigned, their Chief Actuary (who is now a senior actuary at EY!) asked if I would stay on. I jumped at the opportunity to continue working and enjoyed my time there, even though (as the most junior person) I was the one working each New Year’s Eve to make sure the data was downloaded and to start the valuation runs so that they would be ready for the team when we returned to work on  January second each year! 

What helped you build your career/progress?  
Asking good questions at the right time enables me to both try and do the work myself, whilst learning from senior people. The trick is to store up your questions so you don't take too much of their time and to ask them regularly enough so you get the work done on time! One of the best questions I asked was “when are you going to promote me” as this generated a conversation and agreement that I was ready for promotion to Senior Manager – which included a promotion “milestone event” sailing in the Solent (near Southampton in the UK), a great experience in itself. I also think that the drive to learn and build relationships with my colleagues and clients is a key skill for everyone who wants to grow their career. 

From your experience, what advantages does being an actuary offer in the professional world?  
The actuarial profession is well respected, and this is a great benefit in building your career and working closely with other professionals such as tax specialists, accountants and lawyers. This is a great way to build your professional networks and make a real contribution in industry. 

What are the top 5 skills that an actuary should have? / What top 5 skills do you look for when hiring an actuary?  
I look for a person’s attitude and approach to work and learning; workplace culture is the most important factor and finding people who fit well is important – whilst also being very careful of unconscious bias. Being an actuary also means that a strong technical skill set is very important – these days, this also means that programming, analytics and AI skills are very important for actuaries. 

What exciting projects or work locations have you been exposed to?  
One of the most memorable projects was reviewing the public pension fund in Yemen which I visited for two weeks. The work was very interesting as the benefit structure passed down several generations, creating quite a strain.Their systems were also pretty old which made extracting the data quite difficult! However, the Minister who we were working for really looked after us and took us out (on the weekend!) into the countryside which was quite an experience.  We visited a site where weddings were celebrated as well as an ancient fort. I really enjoyed the food there as well.  

I have also been fortunate to work on several large transactions which are fast- paced and competitive; M&A (mergers and acquisitions) work is definitely one of my favourite types of project! I also spent 8 months on secondment in Edinburgh which is a wonderful city to live in (I used to run up Arthur’s Seat (an extinct volcano) some mornings which was very good for keeping fit!). 

What are the three highlights of your career to date?  
I have worked all over the world (on every continent except Antarctica) and that has been one of my career highlights – I am very grateful that the actuarial qualification is held in high regard which helped me to do this.  

I have also worked on many interesting projects over the years, so it is hard to single out an event – it's more a multitude of highlights that add up to a memorable career. For example, when I was in London I worked on a large transaction (involving almost a year of work) – we started in the client’s offices and ended up working in their boardroom which overlooked St Paul’s Cathedral! 

I also met my wife through the profession – at the time she was an actuarial recruiter (all conflicts of interest were disclosed to my employer at the time) and she likes to say she recruited me. That’s certainly a life highlight that would not have happened if I was not an actuary! 

How would you summarise yourself in one sentence? 
I’m a technical actuary with a good sense of humour. 

What advice would you give to young/aspiring actuaries? 
Get some work experience in a range of industries and choose where you want to work, get your exams done and build your professional network from the start of your career.