Actuary – How to become an Actuary

Actuary is a professional working in the insurance sector who assess the financial impact of an uncertain future event and predict to a certain degree of correctness as to what amount of money a policyholder should pay as premium or what sum should be given as pension amount or returns by the company in case of any disaster to the policyholder. In a sense they have the responsibility of calculating insurance risks and premiums with their expertise and skills as a statistician, economist and financier and employ scientific and mathematical techniques of probability, compound interest, law, marketing, management etc to predict the outcome of future contingencies and formulate solutions to rationalize the financial severity of such events.
Although this profession is in existence since 1848 when the Institute of actuaries was established in London, initially it was limited to the Life insurance only, now with the opening up of the world trade and globalization, these professionals are sought after by non-life insurance organisations too like banks, stock exchange etc.
Because of globalization demand for the experts in this profession is far lagging behind its supply. Thus the importance of the Actuary has been increasing at fast pace. The work of an actuary involves a lot of number crunching and the nature of work is quite demanding both physically and mentally, nevertheless it offers rewards in terms of intellectual challenge, status, financial returns and above all job satisfaction in return for all the hard work and dedication one has to put in doing this work. As their judgment is the basis of decision making for many business activities, their career paths more often than not lead to upper management and executive positions but to reach the apex the aspirants has to accomplish his work in a better manner.

Actuary Eligibility

1.Educational Qualification
A person is eligible to be considered for admission as a student member if he/she satisfies one of the following criteria.

  • Should have passed 10+2 (HSC) or equivalent with at least 85% in Mathematics/ Statistics.
  • Graduates or Post Graduate with not less than 55% marks in Mathematical subjects (i.e. Mathematics or any of its branches; Statistics or any of its sub-classifications such as Mathematical Statistics and Applied Statistics; Econometrics; Computer Sciences; Any discipline of Engineering; Subject in Science such as Physics or its branches).
  • Candidates with CA/ CS/ ICWA/ MBA (Finance)/ PGDBA.
  • Fully qualified members of professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) and Certified Institute of Financial Analysts of India (IFAI) and Fellow of Insurance Institute of India (III)- passing with the subjects Mathematical Basis of Insurance and Statistics.
  • A student member of actuarial bodies such as Institute of Actuaries, London; Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland and Institute of Actuaries, Australia.
  • Students from Society of Actuaries, USA and Casualty Actuarial Society, USA, provided that they must have passed at least one subject from these bodies.

2.Age: Minimum age to become an Actuary in India is 18 years.

Exam Pattern, Syllabus and Application Procedure for ACET

Candidates who wish to become a student member of Institute of Actuaries of India are required to qualify for the online entrance test conducted by the Institute. The entrance exam called as Actuarial Common Entrance Test or ACET comprises of objective type questions from Mathematics and Statistics. Higher secondary education with English as one of the subjects is the basic educational qualification required for this exam. One has to apply online for this exam.

Exam pattern of Actuarial Common Entrance Test

Actuarial Common Entrance Test is conducted by Institute of Actuaries of India in online mode across the country. The exam comprises of two papers such as Mathematics and Statistics. There will be a total of 55 multiple choice objective type questions in the exam. Of these 25 questions carry one mark each and next 25 questions carry 2 marks each. Last 5 questions carry 5 marks each. Candidates will be allotted 2 hours to answer all questions. Maximum marks allotted for the exam is 100. Half mark will be deducted for each wrong answer. Candidates are allowed to use scientific calculators in this exam. The detailed information regarding this can be obtained from the official website of Institute of Actuaries of India.
Syllabus for Actuarial Common Entrance Test
Detailed Syllabus for Mathematics

    • Mathematical Notation, Terminology and Methods
    • Numerical methods
    • Mathematical Constants and Standard Functions
    • Algebra
    • Calculus

Apart from these above-mentioned topics, questions will be asked to check knowledge regarding Currency system of foreign countries, English Vocabulary etc.
Detailed syllabus for Statistics

      • Permutations and combinations
      • Statistical diagrams
      • Measures of location
      • Measures of spread
      • Probabilities
      • Discrete random variables
      • Continuous random variables
      • Discrete Distributions
      • Continuous Distributions
      • Correlation
      • Regression

Application Procedure for ACET

Candidates who have passed higher secondary examination from a recognized board of studies with English as a subject are eligible to apply for this exam. Apart from this, working professionals who have the required qualification in Mathematics can also apply. Candidates are required to apply online from the official website of Institute. They will have to pay Rs. 3000/- as examination fee. Fee payment can be made online only. Those who have successfully remitted the examination fees will be able to download the study material from the website. Candidates who have successfully submitted the application will receive a confirmation message via email. Candidates are required to take a print out of the system generated registration form for future reference.
After 15 days from the close of registration, candidates will receive an email regarding exam centre and time slot for the exam.

Actuarial Apprentices with LIC

The Life Insurance Corporation of India takes in candidates(on the bases of a written selection test) who are Graduates/ Postgraduates with Mathematics and Statistics as main subjects with 60% or more marks in aggregate and coming in the age-group 18-25 years.
Contents of Selection Test

  • Paper I includes Essay Writing (Hindi or English) and
  • Paper II comprising of Mathematics or Statistics or Actuarial Science.

Candidates who have passed one or more examination of the ASI or Institute of Actuaries (London) or those having PG Diploma in Actuarial Science with more than 50% marks in aggregate are exempted from appearing for the exams.

Actuary Salary

Because of the global demand of the Actuaries and supply is far less than the demand these professionals can bargain for hefty pay packages from their employers. On this basis, this profession is rated as one of the best in the US economy. In India too with the opening up of the financial and insurance sector for the private players, the trend is picking up. The stipend for an actuarial trainee per month in India is around Rs. 25,000 per month. Whereas experienced and qualified professionals can demand salary packets ranging from8 lacs per annum for beginners to around 70 lacs per annum for those in senior positions.

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