General Frequently Asked Questions
What do actuaries do?
An Actuary is a business professional that uses the knowledge of statistics, mathematics and finance to predict the likelihood of future events and in doing so, enables its stakeholders to identify and quantify risks and exploit the opportunities in these risks. In other words, Actuaries evaluate the financial consequence of risk in business and advise accordingly.
Who is qualified to call him/herself an actuary in Nigeria?
Any person who is either an Associate or Fellow of NAS, is qualified to call himself/herself an Actuary in Nigeria.
What are the fields of actuarial practice in Nigeria and the opportunities in them?
- Life Insurance;
- General/Non-Life/short term Insurance;
- Enterprise risk management and
- Health Insurance
We have also seen actuarial skills being used in the new and developing field of data analytics which can be applied to both financial (including banks) and non-financial sectors.
Where can I find actuarial employment in Nigeria?
Typically, employers of actuarial resource in Nigeria include Life Insurance companies; General/short term Insurance companies; Actuarial consulting firms; Commercial banks; Actuarial consulting firms providing advisory services, Audit firms; Health Management organizations; Government; pension fund administrators etc.
An actuary can work anywhere there is finance and risk and this applies to almost all organizations. Some actuaries take on very non-traditional roles such as Business Analytics, Sales and Marketing, Enterprise Risk Management, and they have reported usefulness of their skills in these places. The actuarial training generally provides one with a background in sound analysis figures, a curiosity for asking ‘Why’, and generally be a problem solver.
Where can I write actuarial exams in Nigeria?
The Society of Actuaries, USA (SOA) and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK (IFoA) have exam centres in Lagos.
Further information on these exams are shown
What type of skills are required in order to become an Actuary?
To become an Actuary, basically you need to have very strong mathematical skills, sound communication skills and a savvy for computing. You do not need to have studied Mathematics or Actuarial Science in the higher institution. Many persons have been able to enter the actuarial profession to the top levels, from first degrees of Engineering, Physics, Statistics and so on. Your Senior Secondary Certificate Exams mathematical exposure and passion will be critical. There have also been reports of persons moving from the legal profession into Actuarial Science (Obviously, these persons must have had a remarkable mathematical background and bias).
Your interest and passion for mathematics and problem solving and your determination and hardwork, will be critical to succeeding in an actuarial career. It could be helpful to speak to an Actuary for his/her opinion and advice, before you embark on an actuarial career.
Why should I consider being an Actuary?
Actuaries are constantly rated as number 1 best job in the US (2018 statistics) and it has been oscillating around the 1st and 2nd best job position (Along with Stock-broking) over the last at least 12 years to 2018. Actuaries are highly regarded professionals and they are also well-remunerated with a high demand and high job security. Here in Nigeria, the situation is similar.
There are only a few actuaries practicing in Nigeria and as a result, the career prospects are equally huge in Nigeria. There are also advancing areas of practice like health and risk management, where more actuaries will be needed in the future.
As insurance companies in Nigeria expand and increase capital, they will require more actuaries to help manage the safety of the shareholder’s investments.
The introduction of accounting regulation will require actuarial skills in commercial banks (in the area of Credit Risk Modelling).
Government will also have increased role for actuaries, as it aims for stronger regulation of the relevant private companies and in analyzing the burden of pension on its budgets.
Where can I find additional information on the Actuarial profession?
Visit beanactuary.org for more information about the Actuarial profession.
Does the NAS offer Continuous Professional Development opportunities (CPD)?
The NAS organizes regular learning sessions that qualify for CPD. These events are usually held, at least once quarterly. Members get an email notification of these events and they are publicized on our social media platforms and website.
How well do actuaries compete with other risk professionals in the field of Enterprise Risk Management?
All actuaries are risk managers by training because they have been trained to identify, quantify and monitor risks. In reaction to the growing space of ERM however, the global actuarial profession developed the Certified Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) qualification. To get the CERA qualification, you need to follow a similar route to that required to become an Associate and take additional specific examinations on ERM.