2 October 2023
What Is Actuarial Consulting?
Are you a natural born leader with a love for numbers and helping others? Want to get into finance, but unsure where to start? If so, why not look into a career in actuarial consulting.
Actuarial consultants work in the financial services team, advising clients on their pensions and savings to ensure their plans and goals are aligned. They calculate and analyse data, then use this information to help clients assess their options and manage their money effectively.
Read on to find out what actuarial consulting is and how you can land a role…
- What is the difference between actuary and actuarial consulting?
- How do you get into actuarial consulting?
- Why should you become an actuarial consultant?
- Is actuarial consulting hard?
What is the difference between actuary and actuarial consulting?
Great question! While actuary and actuarial consulting are similar, they do have their differences. Actuaries work as part of an in-house team and deal with the measurement and management of risks, such as uncertainties in the financial market.
Actuarial consultants use their research and data analysis skills to provide investment, insurance and pension-related advice to clients outside of an organisation.
It’s faster-paced than actuary and has you working on a wider range of tasks (and with lots more clients too). Want to be on your feet, meeting people all the time?
Consulting could be for you.
Want to know what it’s really like to work in consulting? Read our industry guide for a lowdown on all the best placements and internships.
How do you get into actuarial consulting?
They give you valuable insight into what a particular industry or sector is all about. So you’re more equipped when it comes to making big career decisions.
Placement or internship?
Both are valid and get you to where you need to be. If you work hard, you might even get yourself a permanent gig with the same company. Loads of interns and placement students have gone on to do that. You can too.
|One year programme allowing you to work full-time for an employer. Sandwiched between your second and final year of university||One to four months long. Usually takes place out of term hours, during the Easter or summer holidays|
|Immerse yourself in a team and learn the ins and outs of the company and your role||Gives you an opportunity to trial a role to see if it’s the best fit|
|Walk away with tons of experience and industry contacts who’ll be able to point you in the right direction with helpful application tips and advice, including references||Gain a good amount of experience and industry contacts|
Discover what it’s really like to work in actuarial consulting. Read over 70,000 internship / placement reviews from students who’ve been in your shoes.
Why should you become an actuarial consultant?
So you’re semi convinced you want to work in actuarial consulting. But need some reassurance before taking the leap. Here are four reasons why you should go for it:
Actuarial consultants are needed anywhere where there are risks and problems to be solved using data analysis. Which is everywhere. The majority of actuarial consultants work in insurance. But demand is growing in other sectors too. For example:
- Transportation – shipping and air travel (NATS)
- Technology – InsurTech / FinTech (Google, Amazon)
- Energy – Utilities, oil and gas (EDF)
- Environment – Climate change and weather risk assessments (Met Office)
- Government – Department of Labor, Social Security (Civil Service)
- Academia – Colleges and universities
- Entrepreneurship – Many actuarial consultants have started their own businesses!
As an actuarial consultant, you’ll come across financial challenges that’ll stimulate you intellectually – like having to adapt to a changing pensions landscape. So you’ll need strong analytical skills to navigate it.
If you’re someone who can interpret and communicate complex information in a clear and concise way, while staying calm under pressure, you’ll thrive in this role.
Actuarial consulting is stable. The world needs pensions and insurance. So unless the rules change overnight and money ceases to exist (can you imagine?!), you’ll always have a job.
Compared to other industries, the actuarial sector is pretty small with only a handful of people working in it (30,000 approx).
Once you’re in, you’re in. You’ll be part of a high-profile profession and have globally recognised qualifications that’ll boost your CV and employability no doubt.
Yes – actuarial consultants work hard. But they reap the rewards too! The average salary for an actuary graduate is £35,000 a year which can shoot up to £230,000 for partner positions.
Hear what this actuarial consulting intern had to say about their programme with AON.
“My role is within the actuarial and analytics team of AON’s business. This involves meeting with clients and working with senior team members to provide services including pricing, loss forecasting, reserving and other actuarial analyses. On a daily basis, I send emails, have calls with clients, and work with Excel to complete the necessary analysis. Any questions I have can be brought to fellow members of my project team.”
Is actuarial consulting hard?
Actuarial consulting is a specialised field. To get there, you’ll need to become an actuary first, which is tough. You’ll need a solid background in Maths, Statistics and Economics. But most importantly, a dedication to studying as you’ll sit a lot of exams. Over a long period of time.
The level of difficulty depends on…
- How early you start– The younger you are, the sooner you’re able to pick up knowledge as your mind is used to learning by reading. Plus, you’ll have fewer work commitments and family responsibilities. So you’re able to focus on your studies
- Your Maths skills – Are you someone who just gets Maths? Or do you need time to grasp a particular topic? Is 500 hours of studying enough? Or can you ace it in 200?
- Focus and commitment – You’ll have to invest all your time and energy into passing exams. You can have hobbies. But your breaks must revolve around your studies, not the other way around. They have to refresh you – not tire you out
- Resilience – If you fail an exam, you’ll need to bounce right back and pass the retake
- Support system – Having supportive family and friends who can pick you up when you’re stressed or down helps you keep a positive mindset.
The real value in your career as an actuary comes after you’ve finished your exams. It’s the starting point, not the end one. You may have to take a few knock-backs to your social life. But if you persist, it’ll be 100% worth it.