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Your first actuarial role

Once you have decided the actuarial profession is for you, it’s time to find your first actuarial role

The type of role you look for will depend on whether you are still in school, at university or a recent graduate – this might be work experience, a summer internship or trainee and graduate roles

With ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19, many of these roles are now virtual but there are still opportunities out there.

Work Experience

Alongside gaining the relevant qualifications, most employers agree that  gaining transferable workplace skills like team work and leadership through work experience, will help you stand out when you apply for your first trainee or graduate role. 

Some employers offer actuarial insight days, where you can visit their offices to see what it's like to work there, and work experience opportunities to students still at school. If you can’t find actuarial work experience opportunities, we recommend looking for work experience in the financial sector and beyond. You will learn how a business works, develop workplace skills and may even have the opportunity to learn about the actuarial function depending on your role. 

If you are looking for work experience opportunities, a great place to start is with your careers service and advisers. They can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, provide you with valuable advice about CVs and interviews and have connections with local employers.

Our Employer Directory has lots of information about the types of  work experience, graduate and trainee roles available and how to apply.

We also have a guide to work experience for aspiring actuaries, as well as some tips to help you prepare for a virtual interview.

Summer Internships

If you are a university students, we recommend applying for summer internships with actuarial employers. An internship will help you expand your network and, in some cases, may even lead to the offer of a graduate role. Although summer internships may be advertised throughout the year, it’s best to start looking and apply early to avoid disappointment. Many employers will begin advertising internships in October or November for the following summer, so don’t delay getting your applications in. 

You can find information about employers that offer summer internships in our Employer Directory.

We also recommend that you speak to your university or college career advice service. Your careers advisers are a valuable source of information on internships and other work experience opportunities and often hold events throughout the year where you can network with employers.

Job sites like Inside Careers and Actuarial Careers also advertise placements and internships

Trainee and Graduate Roles

Applying the knowledge and skills you gain from IFoA modules in the workplace is an essential part of qualifying as an Associate or Fellow with the IFoA. Whether you plan to take on an apprenticeship straight out of school or study for a university degree, you will need to find a trainee or graduate role in the actuarial profession to qualify as an actuary.  Each employer will have their own entry requirements for apprenticeship, graduate and trainee roles, but in general: 

  • school leaver apprenticeship roles will ask for an A Level in Maths, and  
  • graduate roles will ask for a 2:1 degree in a maths based subject. 

Like summer internships, gradate and trainee actuarial roles will often be advertised in October or November for the following year. However, actuarial apprenticeships may have a number of intakes throughout the year, so it is always best to check with individual employers about their specific start dates and entry requirements. 

Employers offering trainee and graduate roles can be found in our Employer Directory

Job sites like Inside Careers and Actuarial Careers also advertise graduate and trainee roles.

Whether you are on an apprenticeship or a graduate trainee role, you will gain valuable experience within the actuarial profession while studying for exams. Many employers will support your progress and will help:

  • fund your membership and exam fees
  • offer study days
  • enable you to earn whilst studying
  • provide you with on the job experience around elements of the exam material which will help you work towards your IFoA qualification. 

To find out more about the type of roles available in the actuarial profession take a look at our Employer Directory.

Need some advice on making an application or preparing of interviews? Check out our blogs that will help you prepare for each stage of the application and interview process.

Chloe Hung, Amazon best-selling author, gives advice on succeeding at an actuarial interview

Get the latest news

Stay up-to-date with the latest news, opportunities with employers and events to support you in your first steps in your actuarial career.

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

  • 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

    Retail banking is going through a period of substantial change as it moves into the digital age. Banks have large amounts of data about their customers and about their risks. Open data application programming interface (APIs) and data science are enabling banks to use their data to offer innovative and sometimes personalised services. Data science is also adding value in risk areas such as fraud detection and cyber security. At the same time, the move to online banking is making it easier for firms including fintechs to enter banking without having to establish branch networks.

  • UK Town Hall 08:30-09:30

    4 December 2020

    Spaces available

    IFoA President Tan Suee Chieh would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual UK Town Hall 2020, hosted by Tan Suee Chieh with IFoA’s Immediate Past President, John Taylor, President Elect, Louise Pryor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.  

  • UK Town Hall 10:00-11:00

    4 December 2020

    Spaces available

    IFoA President Tan Suee Chieh would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual UK Town Hall 2020, hosted by Tan Suee Chieh with IFoA’s Immediate Past President, John Taylor, President Elect, Louise Pryor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.  

  • 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

    Patrick Kennedy, Partner at Gateley Legal and Founding Director of Entrust (a leading professional pensions trustee company), will be delivering an update on the latest legal developments during the course of 2020. With both a pensions legal perspective and over 25 years of trustee service, Patrick will seek to highlight how the letter of the law has continued to evolve against the backdrop of a difficult and challenging year

  • 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. 

  • Spaces available

    Running off the £2 trillion of UK corporate sector defined benefit liabilities in an efficient and effective fashion is the biggest challenge facing the UK pensions industry. Trustees and sponsors overseeing those schemes need to be clear on their target end-state and the associated journey plan – but too few have well articulated and robust plans.

  • Spaces available

    The actuarial skill set has much to offer the banking industry. So many of the skills that actuaries acquire during their working life translate across to the world of banking and yet banking is perceived as an alien environment to many actuaries. But is it?

  • Spaces available

    Covid-19 has required an urgent and cross-practice initiative to facilitate the extensive impact this pandemic has across all industries. IFoA members have been keen to contribute in a different way, so we developed the IFoA Covid-19 Action Taskforce [ICAT] to coordinate our effort, with a more efficient governance.

    We have over 500 volunteers and countless topics which we have amalgamated into 93 workstreams.