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How to become an actuary

To become a qualified actuary you will need to complete IFoA exams, or obtain exam exemptions, and gain work based skills to qualify as an IFoA Associate.

Once you have qualified as an IFoA Associate you can take additional exams and gain further work based skills, developing more advanced actuarial skills and qualifying as an IFoA Fellow. 

Key routes into the actuarial profession

We are committed to ensuring that a career in actuarial science is open to anyone with an aptitude for maths.

Apprenticeships offer graduates and non-graduates an opportunity to gain formal training while studying for exams. Find out more about actuarial apprenticeships.

If you are looking to get a new or better technical or analytical role in the financial services industry, then the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification is for you.

Visit our Plan my study route web page to find out more about the range of IFoA qualifications open to individuals worldwide, who wish to pursue an actuarial career.

IFoA Exams

IFoA exams are structured to support you in developing the skills and techniques you will need to progress in your career and broaden your actuarial knowledge.

Find out more about our qualification structure and curriculum

Exam exemptions

If you have:

  • studied a university course that has been accredited by the IFoA,
  • have studied a course with a significant amount of Maths included in the content, or
  • have certain professional qualifications,

you may be eligible for exam exemptions.  

Find out whether you are eligible for IFoA exam exemptions and how to apply for exam exemptions on our exam exemptions web page.

Finding your first role

Most actuaries start their training after they graduate by joining an actuarial firm as a trainee. Being in an actuarial job will develop your skills, which will help you with your exams.

You can find a list of some of the organisations offering actuarial graduate trainee roles and apprenticeships in our Actuarial Careers Guide.

Who can become an actuary?

If you want to become an actuary you will need to build your mathematical, financial and statistical skills at school and university.

Most actuarial employers will look for graduates with a maths-based degree at 2:1 or above in subjects including:

  • Actuarial science
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Economic
  • Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

If you don’t have a maths-based degree but are passionate about maths and want to qualify as an actuary, we recommend taking our non-member exams before joining the IFoA as a Student.

Our non-member exams will prepare you for the rigorous and demanding IFoA qualification process and give you an insight into the skills and techniques required to progress in an actuarial career.

Become a Student member of the IFoA

You will need to join the IFoA as a Student member to be eligible to sit IFoA member exams.

Find out more about Student membership and how to join the IFoA.

Watch our members discuss how to become an actuary



Contact Details

You can contact the Careers team at:

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 7th Floor Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PP

We aim to respond to all enquiries within five working days.

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Events calendar

  • Autumn Lecture 2020: Professor Elroy Dimson

    Online webinar
    14 October 2020

    Spaces available

    Many individuals and institutions have a long-term focus, and invest funds for the benefit of future generations. Their strategy should reflect their long horizon. University endowments are one of the oldest classes of institutional investor, and I will present the first study of the management of these endowments over the very long term.

  • GIRO Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    Available to watch globally in November.
    02-13 November 2020
    Spaces available

    This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area.

  • Life Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    16 November 2020 - 27 November 2020

    Spaces available

    This year's Life Conference has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the life insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's website.

  • Spaces available

    The webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities schemes face in evaluating end game options, choosing a target state and understanding the impact this strategic decision could have on member outcomes long after the “end state” is reached. Adolfo, Kevin and Rhian bring over 60 years of experience in the industry and a variety of perspectives as scheme actuary, covenant adviser, trustee, de-risking adviser and insurer.

  • Spaces available

    Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.

  • Spaces available

    The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report.