Actuarial Science – Career and Courses

There are students in school who are more interested in numbers than in anything else. Economics and Commerce fascinate these students very much and they take keen interest in the practical aspects of business. For these students, it is worthwhile to go in for a course in Actuarial Science.

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A career as an Actuary offers challenges and rewards. One will attain a high professional status with considerable job satisfaction. This field also offers immense intellectual challenges and high incomes. Personal and professional growth along with lifelong learning are offered in this career which is a creative way of dealing with new risks of the fast-changing world. A professional degree-holder in Actuarial Science serves as the backbone of the country’s financial security programme. The Almanac magazine rates Actuarial Science as one of the top four jobs in the US for the last 15 years.

The science which applies mathematical and statistical methods to finance and insurance, particularly to the assessment of risks, is known as Actuarial Science. A number of interrelated disciplines, in particular, the mathematics of probability and statistics are included in the discipline of Actuarial Science.


an Actuary is a professional who computes premium rates, dividends, risk, etc., according to probabilities based on statistical records. Analysis of the financial consequences of risk, by the use of probability theory and mathematical, statistical and financial techniques, comprises the work of an Actuary. An Actuary, thereby, helps businessmen to make better informed decisions.

It is the job of the Actuary to assess the financial impact of uncertain future events. Hence, and Actuary models the future by the methodical analysis of the past. The likely range of financial outcomes from different future events are then quantified. The areas of insurance, pensions and investment are primarily those where the expert finance and risk management skills of an Actuary are used.

Actuarial Science has come to embrace the more sophisticated mathematical modelling of finance in recent times and the discipline is also being increasingly influenced by financial economics. Actuarial Science has been applied more recently to wider fields like project management, banking and healthcare. Demography and census studies, forecasting and finance are other areas where Actuarial Science is applied. Design and pricing of products, financial management and corporate planning are a few among the wide variety of roles performed by Actuaries in these areas.

The management of pension, gratuity and other employees’ benefit fund schemes and insurance companies are involved. Actuaries have statutory role to perform in insurance schemes sponsored by the Government.


The analysis of mortality, the production of life tables and the application of compound interest are the areas focused upon by Actuaries in the life insurance industry. The methods of pre-funding for retirement and the proper measurement of liabilities that will not come due for many years are the areas dealt with by Actuaries in the pension industry. Natural disasters and automobile accidents cause immense losses to life and property. Actuaries forecast losses to property in the property insurance field.


In order to get admission into the Actuarial Society of India as a student member and study Actuarial Science, the minimum educational qualification required is the successful completion of 10_2 (HSC) or equivalent examination with a minimum of 85 percent marks in Mathematics / Statistics. Alternatively, one can also get admission into a curse in Actuarial Science if one has successfully completed Graduation with 55 percent marks in Mathematics / Statistics / Econometrics / Computer Science. Those who have completed their Post graduation in these subject are also eligible for in these subjects are also eligible for admission. Engineers in any discipline and those who have completed CA / CS / CWA / MBA (Finance) / MCA are also eligible to get admission into a course in Actuarial Science.

Fully qualified members of the professional bodies like ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India); ICWAI (Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India); IFAI (Institute of Financial Analysis of India); and the Insurance Institute of India passing with the subject of Mathematical Basis of Insurance and Statistics are also eligible for studying Actuarial Science.


A student from the Society of Actuaries (USA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (USA) is also eligible for admission if one has passed in at least one subject from these bodies.

In addition to the requisite qualifications, one is required to qualify in the entrance examination conducted by the Actuarial Society of India, in order to get admission. Mathematical, Statistical, Financial and Actuarial techniques consisting of six subjects are covered in the entrance examination. The six subjects are Probability and Statistics, Mathematics of Finance, Life Contingencies, Economics and Accounts, Applied Statistics and Mortality. Graduates and Postgraduates are granted exemption under certain conditions.


One should be a person of judgment rather than one who simply uses techniques to arrive at decisions. A strong background in mathematics and a liking for numbers is also desirable. One should also have a very sound and thorough understanding of the business environment, economics, finance and accounts. One should have good computer skills too.

One is required to adopt a sound commercial approach to decision making in the field of Actuarial Science. Good communication skills are also required to be successful in this field. Personal integrity of the highest standards is required from Actuaries, since the safeguarding of the financial interests of the public is the legal responsibility of the Actuaries.


The Actuarial Society of India is the professional body of Actuaries in India. Examinations leading to the actuarial qualification – Associate and then Fellowship of the Society-are conducted by the Actuarial Society of India. The study course is divided into four stages-Core Technical Stage, Core Application Stage, Specialist Technical stage and Specialist Application Stage. Depending on the time devoted by the student for the preparation of the examination, the course can be completed in 4 to 5 years. Courses in Actuarial Science from the Institute of Actuaries, the UK and Australia, are also recognized in India.


The opening up of the insurance sector in India has brought about a host of job opportunities for professionals of Actuarial Science. Previously, Actuaries and Actuarial Science students were primarily employed by the LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) of India. Now, insurance companies with foreign tie-ups are being set up by corporate groups which has created a huge demand for Actuaries.

Actuarial Science is a zero unemployment profession and anyone with a degree in Actuarial Science under one’s belt will be employed in a national or international organization. Just after clearing 3 to 4 papers, students are absorbed as trainees in the insurance and other Actuarial Science application companies. According to IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority), every life insurance company should have a full-time appointed Actuary. The LIC may require 200 more Actuaries in the future while private life insurance companies would require around 220 Actuaries. In the long run, at least six Actuaries will be required by every player in the private sector.

Insurance Companies (Employing Actuaries)

  • National insurance Co. Ltd.
  • United India Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • New India Assurance Co. Ltd.
  • General Insurance Corporation of India
  • Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • MaxNew York Life Insurance
  • Allianz Bajaj Life Insurance Co.
  • Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • ING Vysya Life Insurance
  • Metlife India Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

The demand for Actuaries is very high in India, due to the privatization of the insurance industry. The rolling off of public pension schemes has also created a huge demand for Actuaries. There are, in fact, several organizations where an Actuary can find employment. Apart from insurance companies, large banks and investment firms like the World Bank and the ADB (Asian Development Bank) are places where one can find employment. One can also find employment in regulatory authorities like the IRDA and the PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority). Large capital and turnkey project handling companies an asset liability management companies also require Actuaries in their organizations. Software development companies and actuarial BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) companies also recruit Actuaries. Besides, one can also find employment in a firm of consulting Actuaries.


Candidates are normally absorbed as trainees after clearing 3 to 4 papers of the course. As a trainee, a student will get a stipend which may start at Rs. 100,000 per annum. As a fresh Postgraduate, one gets a salary ranging between Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs per annum. On gaining experience of five to ten years, one will get a salary of Rs. 20 lakhs per annum. As an appointed Actuary, one will get a salary of Rs. 30 lakhs per annum. In countries, like the UK and the US, a freshly qualified Actuary is likely to receive an average pay of around $ 70,000 per annum.

With the growth in the insurance sector, the job prospects for Actuaries have also grown considerably. As an Actuary, one will always find challenging job opportunities that offer high rewards.

Where to Study

Actuarial Society of India

302, Indian Globe Chambers,

142, Fort Street,

Off D.N. Road

Mumbai-400001, Maharashtra

Tel : 022-22691051

Fax : 022-22691052

E-mail – [email protected]

ASI New Delhi Chapter

Acturial Department,

LIC of India, Zonal Office,

Jeevan Bhari, Connaught Circus,

New Delhi – 110001

ASI Kolkata Chapter

P-22, Bondel Road,

Kolkata – 700019, West Bengal

ASI Chennai Chapter

Acturial Department,

LIC Of India, Zonal Office,

LIC Building, Anna Salai,

Chennai – 600002, Tamil Nadu

Delhi University

College of Vocational Studies

Triveni (Sheikh Sarai),

Bishop Heber College

Trichy, Tamil Nadu – 620017

Website :

Kalyani University

Kalyani, Nadia – 741235,

West Bengal

Insurance Training Centre

25 Baranshi Glash Street,

Kolkata – 700007, West Bengal

Ernakulam Insurance Institute

C/o LIC of India Divisional Office, Jeevan Prakash,

M.G. Road, Ernakulam – 682011, Kerala

The National Insurance Academy

Balewadi Bancer Road,

Pune Maharashtra

College of Insurance

Greeshnan Assurance Building,

Sir P.M. Road, Fort,

Mumbai – 400001,


Alagappa University

Directorate of Distance Education

Karaikudi – 630003, Tamil Nadu

Tolami Institute of Management Studies

P.B. No. 11, Adupur – 370205, Gujarat

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