How to become an Actuary in Canada

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Many people in Canada and around the world would like to know how to become an actuary, one of the best paying careers in Canada. We are going to take you step by step the route to take for you to be a professional actuary in Canada.

An Actuary is an individual who is employed by insurance companies, audit firms, pension firms, banks and mortgage companies to come up with models that help in risk reduction, pension payment schemes, annuity payments and mortgage loans interest rates. They also come up with probabilistic models for banks and insurance companies that project the outcome of events.

In Canada, actuaries earn salaries ranging from $80,000 to $150, 000, ranking among the best paid professionals.

If you want to be an actuary, this is what to do

  1. Join a top university as an Actuarial Science student

The first step is to enroll for a BSc in Actuarial Science at a University in Canada.

Some of the best universities to join include:

  1. Calgary University
  2. Concordia University
  3. Laval University
  4. Manitoba University
  5. McMaster University
  6. Montreal
  7. New Brunswick in Fredericton
  8. Queen’s University
  9. Regina University
  10. Simon Fraser University
  11. University of Toronto
  12. Waterloo University

The journey starts from joining any of the listed universities above. Once you have enrolled for Actuarial science course, which will take you 4 years, you will graduate with a BSc Actuarial Science degree. Upon graduation, you will be required to enroll for Actuarial Science professional certification. Two institutions are well known for this, The Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Institute of Actuaries (IOA).

Actuarial professional certification requires that you sit for a series of papers, normally more than 12, after which you will become a full Actuary.

The title you earn after completing the exams is referred to as ‘fellow’, which is given to a few people who manage to complete the tough exams. It takes a student at least 4 years to pass all the papers, which include Financial Mathematics, Probability, Pension and annuity related units.

In the country, The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (the CIA), is responsible for registering actuaries who have successfully completed the exams. CIA recognizes fellows of both the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuary Society, provided that they have specialized study in Canadian actuarial practice. For fellows of the SOA, this is fulfilled by taking the CIA’s Practice Education Course (PEC). For fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society, this is fulfilled by taking the nation specific Exam 6-Canada, instead of Exam 6-United States (CAS 2011b). Unlike their American counterparts, the CIA only has one class of actuary: Fellow. Further, the CIA requires three years of actuarial practice within the previous decade, and 18 months of Canadian actuarial practice within the last three years, to become a fellow (CIA 2004). The CIA also offers an associate designation.

When you become an Actuary, you will be eligible to offer consultancy services in various sectors. You will also be employed by top actuarial firms, insurance companies, pension institutions and banks.

The pay of an Actuary in Canada range between $120,000-$300,000.