Actuary Kaitauwhiro Pūtea

Actuaries predict and assess the financial risks and impacts of future events. They work in areas such as insurance, superannuation and investment.

Trainee actuaries need to be registered as members with the New Zealand Society of Actuaries. 

Qualified actuaries need to register as a fellow of the New Zealand Society of Actuaries. 

Actuaries may do some or all of the following:

  • collect and analyse statistics about past financial events
  • forecast the effect of future financial events
  • analyse and solve business problems using mathematical and statistical modelling techniques
  • advise businesses and government on managing financial and other business risks
  • prepare reports and advise on insurance, investment, superannuation and management of funds
  • calculate the assets and liabilities of insurance companies, and determine their financial strength
  • help to determine a company's financial results.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for actuaries includes:

  • work for an insurance company
  • experience programming computers
  • accounting and computer work
  • experience analysing financial statements
  • any work involving mathematics and statistics.

Personal Qualities

Actuaries need to be:

  • skilled at analysing and interpreting information
  • good at solving problems and making decisions
  • accurate and methodical
  • able to communicate well
  • able to write reports.

Skills

Actuaries need to have:

  • knowledge of maths, statistics, economics, accounting, finance and investment
  • understanding of the risks involved in running a business
  • knowledge of business management and law, including economic and social law.

Conditions

Actuaries:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may sometimes work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines
  • work in offices, but may travel locally to visit clients.

Actuarys can earn around $45K-$100K per year.

Pay for actuaries varies depending on experience and qualifications.

  • Trainee actuaries usually earn $45,000 to $100,000 a year.
  • Fully qualified actuaries with five to eight years' experience can earn $100,000 to $150,000 a year.

Source: New Zealand Society of Actuaries, 2018.

Actuaries may move into management or chief officer roles.

They may specialise in areas such as:

  • superannuation
  • insurance
  • banking and finance
  • electricity
  • carbon crediting.

Years Of Training

5-8 years of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a trainee actuary. However, it is recommended you have a Bachelor's degree in mathematics or statistics, or an Honours degree, which can be in a non-mathematical subject.

Victoria University of Wellington is the only university in New Zealand that offers a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Commerce in actuarial science. By completing this course, you could be exempted from some actuarial institute exams.

To become a qualified actuary you need to pass a number of exams set by an overseas actuary institute, which you study while working full time. Most trainee actuaries in New Zealand sit exams set by the Actuaries Institute (Australia) or the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK).

You also need to be registered with the New Zealand Society of Actuaries.

Actuary

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