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How to become an actuary

To qualify as an actuary you need to apply to become a student member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). You then need to pass our exams, or obtain exemptions from them and gain a satisfactory level of work-based skills

It's essential that you have excellent mathematical skills

Most actuaries start their training after they graduate by joining an actuarial firm as a trainee. Being in an actuarial job will develop your skills which will help you with your exams.

Most UK actuarial employers will be looking for trainees with a good degree (2:1 or above)

Employers favour candidates with degrees in a numerate subject such as mathematics, statistics, economics, engineering, chemistry, physics or actuarial science.   We have compiled a list of mathematical subjects which you should have an understanding of in order to qualify as an actuary.  (You will study these subjects in your degree, and/or whilst working as an actuarial student.)

The minimum requirements for admission as a student member of the IFoA are:

Qualification Key subject Minimum grade Other
A-Levels (England) Mathematics B Plus a second A-level in any subject at grade C
Scottish National Qualifications Authority Higher Mathematics A Plus two further passes in any subjects at grade C
Irish Leaving Certificate Mathematics A Plus four further passes in any subjects at grade C

Other international qualifications must be equivalent to the above.


  • If you have a second class honours degree or above in a non-mathematical subject, the mathematics A-level requirement is reduced to a grade C.
  • If you have a third class honours degree or above in a mathematical or actuarial science degree, the mathematics A-level requirement is dropped.

Apply to become a student member of the IFoA

Download the Application form for Student membership

Please note: admission fees will increase from 1 July 2017. Any student admission forms received from this date will have to include the increased fee.

Contact Details

You can contact the Careers team at:

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 7th Floor Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PP

We aim to respond to all enquiries within five working days.