Businesses rely on risk management experts to help manage constant change and create value for an uncertain future.

If you’d like to use your strong analytical skills to make a professional impact and guide a business towards success, you might like to consider becoming a qualified actuary. But what does an actuary do? Let’s explore what an actuary is, what an actuarial career might look like and where studying to become an actuary can take you.

What is an actuary in Australia?

Actuaries are professionals in risk management. They help businesses, government agencies, not-for-profits, and individuals make critical future decisions by designing creative solutions to minimise business risk. They achieve this by applying advanced analytical techniques to evaluate risks and opportunities. Actuaries commonly work in banking, financial services, the insurance industry, superannuation, wealth management, investments, corporate finance, healthcare, health insurance and financing, as well as data analytics, energy resources, the environment and consulting.

Skills of an actuary?

Actuaries are skilled in analysis and statistics. They understand risk modelling and management, evaluating the likelihood of future events, advanced analytical techniques to evaluate risks and opportunities, data analytics, and they design creative ways to reduce the impact of undesirable events. By studying actuarial science at UNSW, you’ll develop a specialist quantitative skill set in actuarial models, financial maths, probability, machine learning/AI analytics, and commerce.

What do actuaries do?

Actuaries are experts that companies turn to when they need to understand and manage risk. They apply mathematical, statistical, economic and financial analyses and problem-solving to evaluate risk and opportunity across a wide range of business problems – from pricing products or managing risk to finding solutions for social and economic challenges. With highly transferable skills in analysis and statistics, you can move across the private sector, financial institutions, and government departments.

Actuary jobs

Career options across the actuarial profession include: 

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Actuarial consultant
  • Asset management analyst
  • Credit analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Forecasting analyst
  • Insurance analyst
  • Risk assessment
  • Statistical research analyst
  • Superannuation advisor
  • Wealth management analyst

Actuaries work across a variety of practice areas including:

  • General insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Data Science
  • Superannuation and retirement planning
  • Investment and fund management
  • Banking
  • Risk management
  • Reinsurance
  • Health insurance
  • Finance

Salary of an actuary

The average salary for actuaries, mathematicians and statisticians in Australia is $1,931 per week. The number of workers employed as actuaries is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years.

What is actuarial studies at UNSW?

UNSW Business School is ranked #1 worldwide in risk management, insurance, and actuarial research. Studying Risk & Actuarial Studies at UNSW also means you can gain professional recognition with recognised Actuaries Institute (Australia) and the VEE credit for the Society for Actuaries (USA) when you graduate.

Whether you’re looking to study a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, UNSW offers renowned professional qualifications including:


The Bachelor of Actuarial Studies at UNSW is accredited by the Actuaries Institute (the Australian society of actuaries) and includes the option to choose a specialisation to diversify your future career as a business professional. Graduates of Actuarial Studies at UNSW are in high demand. After three years, you’ll be ready for quantitative roles in a range of industries including financial services, insurance and superannuation


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Discover how UNSW Business School will empower you to succeed in your career as an actuary.