by Gopalan Raman
When you take a family or single insurance cover, be it life, health or property, the premium
calculated based on various futuristic events, which are largely evaluating risk, using
techniques. An actuary is a professional employed to do just that.
Actuarial science, an established field in the west, is gaining growth in India, due to
insurance and investment products. In addition, with over a billion population, requirement
insurance and other futuristic products covering large populations, will only increase. So,
this field is
poised for good growth.
Where do actuaries work?
An actuary will work in insurance, and pension type products, both in Government and private
too. Many MNCs, based in India but providing actuarial support to other countries, do employ
Actuaries also work on pricing, developing financial models to make financial decisions,
liabilities, capital requirements, about future (uncertain) events.
If you are interested and good in applied Mathematics, this is a good field that pays well
and provides lot
of job satisfaction.
Basic educational eligibility to enter the field: completion of 10+2, somewhat similar to a
course in CA.
You can choose commerce stream (with Mathematics as a primary subject) in + 2, to start the
The next step is to become an official member of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI)
and be a student
of actuary. To do so, an applicant must pass the Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET). The
eligibility to appear for the exam is to be a high school graduate. ACET is a 100-mark exam
and it is taken
Then you will need to complete 15 exams to become an actuary and have 3 years of practical
experience. (Again, similar to pursuing CA.).
Overall, it takes 6 to 8 years to complete these exams.
The exams are segregated as
i) 9 core exams,
ii) 3 core applications, (Level 1)
iii) and 2 (out of 6 subjects) specialist technical
iv) and 1 specialist application connected to the 2 specialist subjects chosen above ( Level
Good skills required for this profession are, strong in mathematics, statistics and good
(which also come with understanding the business well).
Where to study?
Clearing actuarial exams alone will be required to be a professional in the field. While
clearing the 15
exams will require coaching (institutes are available for the same) or self-study, there are
around the country, where one can get actuarial degree and they also help you prepare in the
matters in these actuarial exams. (Partial list of colleges offering degree program are
The partial list of those:
1. Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu
2. Bishop Herber College, Tiruchirappalli
3. University of Madras, Chennai
4. Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, etc..
you can search online, for some more institutions, as more institutes are being added every
offering these courses.
It is good to earn a minimum of bachelor degree, for practical purposes; and while earning
degree, you might as well go for actuarial degree, or in related fields, such as Math,
statistics or finance,
as a choice after + 2, to continue with Actuary field.
How to enter the field:
Clearing first 5 exams may be enough land on a job.
Levels 1 and 2 will be sufficient to start the career, whereas last 2 levels can be achieved