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A Definitive Guide on How to Become an Actuary in India

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how to become an actuary in india

There are some students who like to do the work that others find boring. Many students like to solve problems with their excellent knowledge and analyzing capabilities. Such type of activities is considered boring among the common people. But today in this article we are going to talk about a profession which is kind of similar to the above-mentioned activities. And if you also possess those qualities to analyze then this profession can be a perfect fit for you.

In this article, we are going to talk about Actuary. Actually, this job profile is not very familiar to the students who are searching for a good career. But it has a lot of potentials and everybody should at least consider it once before deciding anything. So in this article, we will discuss topics like how to become an actuary in India, what is an actuary, and many more.

How to Become an Actuary in India?

So without beating around the bush lets head to the main question first how to become an actuary in India? So if you are thinking that it is going to be easy then immediately erase that thought. The process of becoming an actuary in India is a little time-consuming and tough as well. You can say that it is as tough as becoming a CA or CS in India. So we have broken down the whole process into a few simple steps. Do read all the steps below to get a better idea of how it goes.

Process To Become an Actuary

Process To Become an Actuary

Step 1: Choose Commerce Stream in 11th Standard

To become an actuary the first thing that you should do is to choose the commerce stream after passing 10th class. With commerce, you can also take mathematics. As we know that this whole filed is all about maths, finance, and statistics so commerce and maths will help to establish a strong understanding on the initial level. While completing your 11th and 12th class you must polish all your concepts in maths and commerce to perform better.

Step 2: Do your Graduation

Now after passing your 12th board exams the next step is to complete a UG degree. There is no specific undergraduate degree for an actuary. So you can pursue any degree in mathematics, statistics, management, or finance. But always choose a course that will help you to further sharpen your command on finance and mathematics.

If you are still confused to choose a course then you can go for courses like B.Sc. Mathematics or B.Sc Finance or any other similar course. You can also go for the B.Sc. actuarial science course. But there is no such benefit of doing a B.Sc. Actuarial Science degree because you still have clear the other important exams of IAI or IFoA. Other than that most of the companies also demand the students with a degree in mathematics or statistics.

Step 3: Become a Member of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI)

Now the next step to becoming an actuary is to become a member of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI). To become a member you have to clear an exam named Actuarial Common Entrance Test (ACET). There are no strict eligibility criteria for this exam as candidates can appear for this exam just after completing their high school graduation. But still, it is advised to complete a degree first as companies give preference to such candidates only. The ACET exam is conducted in the online mode and the total marks for this exam are 100. There is a total of 55 questions in this exam and the time duration is 2 hours.

This exam is conducted 2 times in a year. The first time it is conducted in the month of June and the second time in the month of December. Students find this exam easier than the main course. The students who manage to clear the ACET exam becomes the official member of IAI. After this, they can start their journey towards the actual course. 

After getting into the IAI, candidates have to pass a total of 15 exams in order to become a professional actuary. These exams are divide into some stages and each stage checks the candidate on various parameters. All four Stages are explained below.

Stage 1: Core Technical (CT)

Now the first stage that candidates have to clear is the Core Technical (CT). There are total 9 papers in this stage and the candidates have to clear all the papers to move to the next stage. There are 8 regular subject-based papers and 1 business awareness paper in this stage. This stage mainly draws focus on the basics of mathematics, finance, and statistics to check the theoretical knowledge of the candidate.

Stage 2: Core Application (CA)

After completing the Core Technical stage the candidates have to clear the Core Application stage. There are total 3 papers in this stage. This stage focus on the application of core subjects in actuary like Actuarial Risk Management, Communication Practice, and many others. In this stage as well it is mandatory to clear all the 3 papers to move forward.

After clearing the two above-mentioned stages the candidate becomes eligible to be an associate member with the IAI. And an associate member has the right to cast his/her vote in electing the council at IAI.

Stage 3: Specialist Technical (ST)

Now with this stage begins the specialist stages of the course. In this Specialist Technical stage, there are a total of 6 subjects from the actuarial specialist subjects and the candidate has to choose any two subjects and give the papers.

Stage 4: Specialist Application (SA)

Then comes the final stage of the course i.e. the Specialist Application (SA) stage. This stage has 6 papers and the candidate can choose only one paper out of these six papers. After clearing this paper the candidate becomes a fellow member of IAI. But the candidates are only accepted as fellow members only if they have three years of experience in this field.

Usually, the candidates start practicing the actuary after they complete the first two stages of the course. Also, remember there is no time limit to complete these stages and most of the students complete this course between a period of 6-8 years.

Duties of Actuaries

So for those who don’t know what actuaries do then you can read this part of the article. Actuaries are responsible for analyzing the various risk factors in the financial institutions and advice the management. Mostly actuaries connect with the top management of the organization to advise them on various finance-related risks and how to manage those risks. Actuaries use a huge database and compile it using software to forecast any future event or risk. This way they help the institutions to manage their investments and pricing (in some cases). Other than that some of the duties of an actuary are mentioned below.

  • An actuary is a person who designs and tests various insurance policies, pensions, and other financial plans.
  • The actuary compiles big data and analyses it to predict a future event and cost of that event for the institution.
  • They work with mathematicians and statisticians to compile the data and figure out statistical models. They also never rely on one source of data and always seeks to collect new data to analyze various new risk factors for the company.
  • The job of an actuary is really time-consuming, but still, they have to take out some time and talk to their clients. This way they try to stay in communication with them and update them with anything new. They also spend a good amount of time to find new clients.

Conclusion

The actuary is not a very known profession in India. There are not many people competing for this profession here. But it doesn’t mean that there is no scope for actuary in India. According to IAI, they have 9182 students, 160 associates, and 344 fellows in India. For a country like India, it is not a big no. The demand for professional and qualified actuaries is also increasing year by year. But there are not enough no. of professionals to fill that demand.

Now when talking about the salary then an actuary student can start his/her career with a payout of 4-5 lakh rupees per annum. As he/she grows in their career and gains some experience then they can expect a much high salary. A well-experienced actuary can easily earn up to 10-15 lakh rupees per annum.

For an actuary, there are career opportunities available in various industries like health insurance. In this profession, you can work in both the private and government sectors. So if want to choose this job profile then you can go for it.

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