Actuaries analyse mathematical, statistical, demographic, financial or economic data to predict and assess the long-term risk involved in financial decisions and planning.
Defines, analyses and solves complex financial and business problems relating to areas such as insurance premiums, annuities, superannuation funds, pensions and dividends.
Examines financial projections for general insurance companies, finance companies, government and other organisations.
Designs new types of policies, assesses risks and analyses investments in life insurance, superannuation funds, health insurance, friendly societies, financial markets and other areas.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Actuaries, Mathematicians and Statisticians, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 88% of people employed as Actuaries work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 22 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Actuaries work in the Financial and insurance services industry. They are also employed in industries like:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Public administration and safety
- Administrative and support services.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Actuaries||All Jobs Average|
Around 97% of Actuaries live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Sydney - City and Inner South
- Sydney - Ryde
- Sydney - Inner West
- Sydney - Eastern Suburbs.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Actuaries is 33 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 34% of the workforce. This is 14 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Actuaries||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in actuarial studies or actuarial science is needed to work as an Actuary. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration with the Actuaries Institute is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Actuaries||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||26.5||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Actuaries, Mathematicians and Statisticians who have strong attention to detail, can communicate clearly and can work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Using maths to solve problems.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
68%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
64%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Reading work related information.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking to others.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
52%Management of financial resources
Figuring out how money is needed to do something, and keeping track of the money that's being spent.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Teaching people how to do something.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
76%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
74%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
65%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
53%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
52%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
50%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
48%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
44%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
36%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
23%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
16%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
15%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
15%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
71%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Write in a way that people can understand.
59%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
48%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
See details that are far away.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
96%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
90%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
88%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
82%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
81%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
81%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
76%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
76%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
76%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
74%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
74%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
70%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
67%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
66%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
66%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
65%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
64%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
63%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
58%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
Talk with people face-to-face.
96%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
95%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
92%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
90%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
85%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Work with people in a group or team.
78%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
77%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
76%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
Work to strict deadlines.
67%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
65%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
65%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
59%Automation of tasks
Do tasks that are mostly automated.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 15-2011.00 - Actuaries.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.