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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 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.

  • Spaces available

    Behavioural Science Webinar SeriesThe world is changing. The fourth industrial revolution, globalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic are up-ending traditional social and business norms around the world; changes that were once predictable and steady are now faster and more profound.

  • Spaces available

    Risk Management Webinar PrgrammeTools like python/R are being heavily used to provide end-to-end analytical solutions for risk management. They help to set up a framework/platform to collect risk data and work out stochastic analytics to provide insights into the risks faced by a firm, be it in any sector.

  • Spaces available

    The webinar will look at several aspects of intergenerational fairness and our panel of experts will challenge you, society, taxpayers and generations X, Y and Z on key aspects of DB v DC pensions, public v private sector pensions, state benefits and key aspects of sustainability.

  • 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

    Mathematical Futures: The Actuary in a World Transformed – Sir Adrian Smith will outline how advances in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the world of big data will transform the nature of many industries, including financial services. The broader environment within which mathematics is applied will change rapidly, often led by innovative yet disruptive forces outside. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on the work of actuaries - and the profession will need to adapt quickly to thrive.


  • 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

    Join newly inaugurated IFoA President Dr. Louise Pryor as she explores what we need to do to keep abreast of the changing world – and how we can seize the resulting opportunities – in her Presidential Address, ‘A Learning Society’

  • 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.

  • Spaces available

    The paper “Asset liability modelling in the quantum era” shall be presented by its authors, Tim Berry and James Sharpe, and chaired by Andrew Smith, Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin.

  • Spaces available

    Risk Management Webinar ProgrammeInternal audit is often the Cinderella of the audit world. It’s a regulatory requirement for insurance companies to have an internal audit function, so why not make it as useful as possible?  This session will look at how to link an internal audit plan to the risk register, and how that helps audit committees and boards to spot problems and fix them.