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    (Original post by Yorkshireactuary)
    Well I've been working as an actuary for over 2 years, and nearly qualified now (couple of exams to go).

    Firstly, yes the exams are tough - but not impossible. And you generally get plenty of support from your employer. They also don't involve any pure maths (as this relates to abstract maths such as metric spaces,topology etc) but do involve a lot of statistics (which obviously does involve calculus etc which you may think of as pure maths at school).

    I agree that it's difficult to get the initial job (I think I went to about 3 assessment centres) but once you have it then jobs are much easier to come by. I now often get phone calls asking me if I'm interested in applying for jobs at the big four accountancy firms so you are generally sought after once you are working as an actuary. Incidentally the big four certainly aren't the best employers for actuaries - either insurance companies or consultancy firms (depending on what you want to do) should be where you start looking.

    Also wouldn't say we think of ourselves as above accountants - just a different field, and annoying when people assume that they are the same. For example a post below saying actuarial is boring having worked in audit - two very very different jobs! But I have a couple of close friends that are now qualified accountants and the exams are certainly easier to pass. They also hate their jobs by the way so will be moving on from audit asap.

    Insurance companies do certainly hire lots of actuaries (although I work in pensions), and definitely more than 1/2 a year! I'd say overall easily the biggest employer of actuaries.

    Contrary to other posts, the job certainly does involve maths on a day to day basis, although generally no calculus or more technical maths that you do in the exams.

    It is more financial maths, generally using annuities (valuing cashflows for the remainder of a person's life). You don't get into the really technical detail too much, but you do need to have a good appreciation of how things are calculated. You also need to sit down and think how you would calculate potentially extremely complicated benefits, so there's a bit of a problem solving as well - obviously good for any mathematician.

    Pay wise - yes it's good, and much higher than accountants (in general). For example, I'll be paid about £20k more than my qualified accountant mates once qualified (and still more now even when not qualified).
    I hope you don't mind me asking some stuff even though it is an old thread. Did you successfully finish qualifying? What kind of money are you making now (if you don't mind me asking) and who do you work for? (I hate asking questions like this they are too personal :mad: ) Would you recommend it to others now that you have had even more time working as an actuary?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Раскольников)
    I hope you don't mind me asking some stuff even though it is an old thread. Did you successfully finish qualifying? What kind of money are you making now (if you don't mind me asking) and who do you work for? (I hate asking questions like this they are too personal :mad: ) Would you recommend it to others now that you have had even more time working as an actuary?

    Thanks.
    That person hasn't been on TSR in over a year. You might be in for a long wait!
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    (Original post by ProStacker)
    That person hasn't been on TSR in over a year. You might be in for a long wait!


    Cheers for letting me know.
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    Very very interesting thread!
    I'm deciding the route on becoming an actuary too
    It seems cool how you could get into the chartered accountancy too.
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    Sadly don't know anything about Actuary - but Chartered accountants can make a lot of money

    The level of maths is minimal though, your working with numbers are aided by a calculator and you'll most likely only add/subtract/divide/multiply all day (at least all the bloody integrating x's and y's disappears by the looks of it XD)

    Accountancy is more business based than maths based, that's why all accounting classes at uni will be at the business end of the uni and not the maths side...

    I've had a look at some available jobs for fully qualified accountants, and in my region (North-East...arguably England's cheapest region) the jobs NOT in one of the big 4 available to chartered accountants with a good level of experience has a minimum expected salary of £50k - it can go up to £75k depending on experience

    Now since that's arguably England's most working class region, and a job not in the big 4...I'd say Chartered accountants could easily earn over £100k in other parts in England and in other firms...
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    (Original post by Раскольников)
    I hope you don't mind me asking some stuff even though it is an old thread. Did you successfully finish qualifying? What kind of money are you making now (if you don't mind me asking) and who do you work for? (I hate asking questions like this they are too personal :mad: ) Would you recommend it to others now that you have had even more time working as an actuary?

    Thanks.
    I've not been on for a while so sorry it's taken a while to reply! Yes I did recently qualify - it took just over 3 years. I work for Towers Watson and earn around £60k (not in London). In reference to an earlier post, should probably add that this is about £15 - 20k more than my recently qualified chartered accountancy friends. I imagine it takes a fair bit of time to make it to over £100k (obviously depending on the person).

    I would certainly recommend it to anyone that had the drive/motivation and intelligence to get through the exams. It's hard work, and needs serious commitment. Relatively easy if you work hard/get lucky and get through them quickly, but some people can take 10 years and that takes serious commitment.

    Once you're over that considerable hurdle it's an enjoyable job for the right kind of person. If you're more of a people person then consultancy is probably the way forward, or if you're slightly more introverted then insurance is probably a better option (and better working hours). Overall though, you need to enjoy working with numbers and problem solving.
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    I think that comparing the pay to accountants to Actuaries isn't completely accurate. Actuaries may start on more once qualified, but most ACA NQs at big firms use their ACA to move up the management ladder (Either at the firm or after they move into industry) where they can earn even millions. Look at the boards of many big companies and you'll find a lot of ACAs. I'd imagine it would be harder to move into management as an actuary because a) Qualified actuaries are hard to come by so it would be hard to replace you, and b) Your management skills can't really be demonstrated in the line of work you're doing.

    Overall, I think it depends on the person. If you love Stats and aren't a people person then become an actuary, if you just are interested in finance and like client work then ACA is a better route.
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    (Original post by 7M33R)
    Overall, I think it depends on the person. If you love Stats and aren't a people person then become an actuary, if you just are interested in finance and like client work then ACA is a better route.
    It's been a while since I've seen someone throw around a massively discredited stereotype, thanks for keeping up the tradition on the internet.

    I honestly can't begin to tell you where this falls apart, but in a short phrase, I'd have to say, "people are not one dimensional".
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    (Original post by 7M33R)

    Overall, I think it depends on the person. If you love Stats and aren't a people person then become an actuary
    I agree with the last guys comment on your post. I'm on route to becoming an Actuary and socially, I'm bloody awesome.
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    If that isn't true why are you getting so defensive about it? :troll:
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    Good point, you are completely right and people are one dimensional... :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    It's been a while since I've seen someone throw around a massively discredited stereotype, thanks for keeping up the tradition on the internet.

    I honestly can't begin to tell you where this falls apart, but in a short phrase, I'd have to say, "people are not one dimensional".

    (Original post by KissMyArsene)
    I agree with the last guys comment on your post. I'm on route to becoming an Actuary and socially, I'm bloody awesome.
    Well you clearly misunderstand. I didn't say all actuaries are socially awkward. I said, if you enjoy meeting and interacting with people, then obviously being an accountant which has a lot of client work involved would fulfil that far better than the job of an Actuary. If you're not a people person on the other hand, then you won't like being an Accountant because of the client work it involves. It's not that hard to understand. I'm fully aware that people can be perfectly sociable outside the workplace.
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    (Original post by 7M33R)
    Well you clearly misunderstand. I didn't say all actuaries are socially awkward. I said, if you enjoy meeting and interacting with people, then obviously being an accountant which has a lot of client work involved would fulfil that far better than the job of an Actuary. If you're not a people person on the other hand, then you won't like being an Accountant because of the client work it involves. It's not that hard to understand. I'm fully aware that people can be perfectly sociable outside the workplace.
    There are plenty of actuarial routes which involve a large amount of client facing work, for example investment consultancy. Looking at investment consultancy, you can choose to specialise into a technical area and avoid the majority of the client facing roles, or you spend almost all of your time working directly with clients. Being an actuary just means you've got FIA after your name.
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    Actuary all the way :headbang:
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    (Original post by AppleCrumble)
    There are plenty of actuarial routes which involve a large amount of client facing work, for example investment consultancy. Looking at investment consultancy, you can choose to specialise into a technical area and avoid the majority of the client facing roles, or you spend almost all of your time working directly with clients. Being an actuary just means you've got FIA after your name.
    Fair enough. But I was obviously on about the technical side not the consultancy side. You don't need to be a qualified actuary to be an investment consultant, but you do to actually come up with stat models.
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    (Original post by 7M33R)
    Fair enough. But I was obviously on about the technical side not the consultancy side. You don't need to be a qualified actuary to be an investment consultant, but you do to actually come up with stat models.
    I'm a trainee actuary and consultant. To do my job you have to be an actuary or train to be one. There are plenty of consulting actuaries - we even have our own association!

    I really enjoy working in actuarial. What bothers me is when people make their career decisions based on "which well-paid job pays more" ... they're quite different professions really.

    EDIT: I feel I should add, actuarial exams aren't necessarily terrible. I mean, they're taking over my life at the moment, but that's because I abused my study days and didn't pace myself well. What I like about the exams:
    - study days break up the week nicely and add variety
    - in the 10 months when exams are not looming, my world feels brighter
    - I actually find them interesting!
 
 
 
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