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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

  • Actuarial Innovation in the COVID-19 era

    This event is online. 
    26 April 2021 - 7 May 2021
    Spaces available

    Join us for this brand new IFoA webinar weries comprising of a fortnight of webinars, panel sessions and a hackathon, that showcase the range of ways in which the actuarial profession has added value, in the public interest, to the understanding and management of the current and future pandemics through insight and learning.

  • Spaces available

    This event is also repeated on Tuesday 27 April, 09.00-10.30. Please click here to register your place if Tuesday is your preferred choice.

    Actuaries have a lot to offer biodiversity management over the next decade as the world develops more depth to its response to this global challenge. This sessional offers an opportunity to learn about this emergent risk, to contribute to our thinking as a profession and help us develop the next steps forward.

  • Europe Town Hall

    28 April 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual Europe Town Hall, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Alan Rae, Jennifer Hartley, Maribel Vasquez Flores and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • Spaces available

    Sessional Meeting - Free to viewMis-estimation risk is a key element of demographic risk, and past work has focused on mis-estimation risk on a run-off basis.  However, this does not meet the requirements of regulatory regimes like Solvency II, which demands that capital requirements are set through the prism of a finite horizon like one year.  This paper presents a value-at-risk approach to mis-estimation risk suitable for Solvency II work

  • Finance & Investment Virtual Conference 2021

    Available to watch globally in May.
    10-12 May 2021
    Spaces available

    This year's Finance and Investment Virtual Conference takes on the timely theme of ‘resilience’, something we have all learnt a lot more about in the last year! Our diverse range of talks will explore the theme of resilience in a variety of ways including in building robust investment portfolios, in the incorporation of ESG factors, in govern

  • Spaces available

    This talk will explore the potential benefits that wearable tech can bring to health & protection insurers and their customers. The traditional approach of integrating wearables into insurance has largely focused on measuring steps and using rewards-based incentive programs to encourage more activity.

  • Spaces available

    Join us for this talk with Professor Sir Adrian Smith as part of the 'Dr Patrick Poon Presidential Speaker Series'. Professor Smith joined The Alan Turing Institute as Institute Director and Chief Executive in September 2018. In November 2020, he became President of the Royal Society, in addition to his leadership of the Turing. He is also a member of the government's AI Council, which helps boost AI growth in the UK and promote its adoption and ethical use in businesses and organisations across the country. He received a knighthood in the 2011 New Year Honours list.


  • Spaces available

    The General Insurance (GI) Spring Conference is a result of the General Insurance Lifelong Learning Committee (GILL) combining this year’s 'Current Issues in General Insurance' (CIGI) and 'Technical Issues in General Insurance' (TIGI) conferences into a virtual webinar series over 19 – 25 May that will be available to watch online globally.

  • CILA 2021

    Available to watch globally in May.
    19-21 May 2021
    Spaces available

    We continue to live in a world of global uncertainty. Survival depends on our ability to simultaneously navigate through the diverse root-causes, ranging from: the consequences of Climate Change; on-going financial consequences of the COVID pandemic; or self-imposed changes in regulatory requirements and accounting standards.

  • Spaces available

    This is a free webinar on the consultation on changes to the Practising Certificates (PC) Scheme.

    The proposals come from a recent review of the PC Scheme which was the first substantive look at the IFoA’s approach to the requirements and process for PCs since 2010. It responds directly to feedback received on how the current scheme works especially that received from members and PC Holders.

  • Pensions Conference 2021

    Online webinar series
    16-22 June 2021
    Spaces available

    Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Virtual Pensions Conference. This year's conference features 11 webinars offering members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the pension industry. There will also be opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.

  • Spaces available

    Given our commitment to the safety of our members and employees, and as the easing of restrictions in respect of COVID-19 cannot be guaranteed at this point in time, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year.

    The Business of the AGM

  • Spaces available

    This is a free webinar on the consultation on changes to the Practising Certificates (PC) Scheme.

    The proposals come from a recent review of the PC Scheme which was the first substantive look at the IFoA’s approach to the requirements and process for PCs since 2010. It responds directly to feedback received on how the current scheme works especially that received from members and PC Holders.