Actuaries calculate the risk premium and return. The job of an actuary is to assess the financial impact of an uncertain future event. Roughly speaking they look at the financial aspect of disasters; sarcastically speaking they are financial astrologers.
An actuary combines the skills of the statistician, economist and financier and employs techniques of probability, compound interest, law, marketing, management etc to predict the outcome of future contingencies and design solutions to lessen the financial severity of such events.
Eligiblity for Actuarial Science
Any person with minimum 18 years of age and having a high degree of aptitude for mathematics and statistics can take up the course and become an Actuary. Courses available include Post graduate diploma in Actuarial Science, MSc. in Actuarial science etc.
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/ CWA/ 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.
Students must take 15 subjects (14+1 optional) in preparing for the actuarial examinations. These subjects are grouped into 100 Series (CT), 200 Series (CA), 300 Series (ST) and 400 Series (SA). There are 9 Subjects in CT series, 3 subjects in CA series, 6 subjects in ST series out of which the student will chose 2 subjects and 6 subjects in SA series out of which the student will chose 1 subject.
CT series (Core Technical Stage)
CT1 - Financial Mathematics
CT2 - Finance and Financial Reporting
CT3 - Probability and Mathematical Statistics
CT4 - Models
CT5 - General Insurance, Life and Health Contingencies
CT6 - Statistical Methods
CT7 - Economics
CT8 - Financial Economics
CT9-Business Awareness Module
CA series (Core Applications Concepts)
CA1-Core Applications concepts consisting of assets and liabilities
ST series (Specialist Technical Stage)
ST1-Health & care Insurnce
ST4-Pension & other employee benefit
ST5-Finance & Investment A
ST6-Finance and Investment B
SA series (Specialist Application Stage)
SA1-Health & Care
SA4-Pension & other Employee Benefit
Certificates in Actuarial Techniques
A student member becomes eligible to get the Certificate in Actuarial Techniques (CAT) on passing all the CT Series subjects.
Associate ship - A student on passing all the subjects up to and including ST Series becomes eligible to be admitted as an Associate Member of the society and can use AASI against his/her name as a registered actuary.
Fellowship - A student on passing all the subjects up to and including SA Series and upon satisfying the other criteria specified for the purpose becomes eligible to be admitted as fellow member of the Society and can use FASI against his/her name as a recognized fellow.
The examinations are held every year in the month of May/June and Ocotber/November at the following centers. India: Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Chennai, Bhopal, Bangalore, Lucknow, Coimbatore and Cuttack.
Outside India: Dhaka (Bangladesh), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Port Louis (Mauritius)
Examination is held at centers outside India if there are candidates desiring to appear at such centers. Below mentioned centers are those where examinations have been conducted in recent past but they are not permanent centers. Candidates who wish to appear from overseas centers should make a formal request to IAI.
Job Prospects in Actuarial Science
Although actuaries were traditionally associated with the insurance sector but today actuaries are needed in sectors like non-life insurance, employee benefits, health insurance, asset-management, reinsurance, insurance broking houses and consulting companies.
The job of an actuary involves formulation of policies and calculating the premium to be charged. For this they assemble and analyze data to estimate the probability of such eventualities as death, sickness, injury, disability and property loss and formulate a sum which is advantageous to the customer as well as the company. In areas where employee benefits and retirement/pension schemes are dealt, the actuaries have to calculate the amount of money to be paid as contribution to pension fund in order to generate a certain income level post-retirement.
Actuaries in administrative positions have to explain technical matters to executives, government officials, shareholders, Actuaries working in tandem with government/ government agencies are responsible for designing social security and Medicare plans. Many of these professionals work as independent consultants providing actuarial advice to clients for a fee. Some also provide investment advice. Actuaries have scope for career growth not only in India but also in countries like USA, UK, Canada and Australia where they already have the necessary infrastructure and support system available.
Stipend for an actuarial trainee per month in India is approximately Rs 25,000 per month. Insurance companies and consulting firms give merit to experience and qualifications with salary packets ranging from 8 lakhs per annum for beginners to around 40 lakhs per annum for those in senior positions. In UK a qualified actuary can earn 20 lakhs per annum.