Actuary

An actuary is a person with a unique blend of mathematics statistical and business skills, who is involved in the security of long-term financial arrangements. Actuaries are usually active in the fields of business management, life assurance, investment, retirement provision, product development, healthcare provisioning, short term insurance, banking, and marketing.

To become an actuary, one needs exceptional mathematical ability, an interest in business and truckloads of perseverance to qualify, as the course is long and very difficult. Aspiring actuaries may follow a university programme accredited with the Actuarial Society of South Africa. After they have graduated, they usually start working while completing the final examinations and gaining practical experience required to qualify as an actuary.

What is an Actuary?

Actuaries make a difference to the lives of individuals and society by making financial sense of the future, using probabilities and financial methods.

While other professionals ensure that the financial books of the past are in order, actuaries ensure that the financial books of the future will be in order. The actuary’s work enables individuals and companies to safeguard their future at an affordable price.

What are the employment opportunities?

Actuaries are normally active in the fields of business management, life assurance, investment, retirement provision, product development, healthcare provisioning, short term insurance, banking and marketing.  In addition, they are involved in consulting on broader enterprise risk management work and increasingly on climate change initiatives.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

To study an Actuarial Science degree, you need top grades in Pure Mathematics and English in your final Grade 12 results for university admission. (Pure Mathematics 80%, English First Additional Language 80%, English Home Language 60%).

Actuaries require specific skills such as being skilled in mathematics, technical savvy, good communication and problem solving.

Entry-level qualifications

Undergraduate Level:

  • Bachelor of Commerce in Actuarial Science
  • Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science & Mathematical Statistics,
  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science & Statistics
  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics
Professional accreditations

The Actuarial Society of South Africa is accredited with SAQA as a professional body to confer actuarial designations to qualified members. ASSA has mutual recognition agreements with global actuarial professional bodies, details can be found on the following link: Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA’s) with international institutions.

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Continued Professional Development (CPD) requirements

Associateship (AMASSA) and Fellowship (FASSA) designation both carry CPD requirements.

Association membership options

Associateship (AMASSA) and Fellowship (FASSA) designation both carry CPD requirements.

Association membership option?

  • Student member
  • Technical member (TASSA)
  • Associate member (AMASSA),
  • Fellow member (FASSA),
  • Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA)

*CERA is a designation for AMASSA’s or FASSA’s who have completed the Enterprise Risk Management subject in addition to their actuarial designatory qualification.  It is not a free-standing designation and can only be awarded to qualified actuaries.

Where can I study?

Study an Actuarial Science degree at any one of the Actuarial Society of South Africa’s accredited universities listed below.

List of accredited universities:

University of Cape Town

University of Pretoria

University of Witwatersrand

University of Johannesburg

Stellenbosch University

North-West University

University of Free State

OR

Complete any Bachelor’s degree with Pure Mathematics and Statistics

The actuarial career journey:

Content provided by the Actuarial Society of South Africa. 

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