Actuary Salary Guide and Career Outlook

An actuary career is all about managing investments and predicting risk. The actuary salary is generally on the high end. In Canada, they see an income of C$66,066 ($48,896) which is on the lower end of the spectrum considering the cost of living. The pay in South Africa (R628,631) with a U.S. equivalent of $47,170 is virtually identical. In the United States, they see a salary of $81,040.

This article is a salary guide and career outlook for the actuary job description. As such it will cover salary ranges in seven countries. These depend on experience, type of industry, and work schedule.

How Much Does an Actuary Make per Year by Country?

Actuary Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $24.46 C$19.78 ($14.64) E24.50 ($25.91) AU$47.48 ($35.64) NZ$34.11* ($23.53) Rs 370.98* ($5.56) R302.22 ($22.68)
Annual Pay $81,040 C$66,066($48,896) E50,964 ($53,907) AU$98,769 ($74,134) NZ$100,000 ($68,989) Rs 771,657 ($11,570) R628,631 ($47,170)

*These figures are estimated based on the other pay information given. This assumes a 40 hour work week.

Actuary Salary Influencing Factors

The International Actuarial Association brings together all of the independent actuarial bodies from different countries. This helps normalize expectations and actuary requirements. There are differences in pay based on the country you work in, experience and industry type, and essential skills. The actuary salary ranges listed below all come from Payscale data with the exception of New Zealand.

1. Location

How Much Does an Actuary Make in the US?

The actuary salary in the United States is $49,837 to $142,642. They can earn a bonus of up to $29,081 and a profit share of $19,518. For those professionals who get paid hourly, they make $15.30 to $45.19 with overtime rates reaching $56.50. Therefore, their pay equals anywhere from $49,728 to $155,651.

How Much Does an Actuary Make in Canada?

The hourly rate for actuaries in Canada is C$12.26 to C$107.66 with an overtime rate of C$79.00. From an annual perspective, they make C$46,878 to C$113,586. In addition, bonuses of anywhere from C$1,003 to C$113,586 and profit sharing of C$24,468 can add to their income. The full salary is C$42,119 to C$127,361.

How Much Does an Actuary Make in the UK?

The 10th percentile of earners in the United Kingdom will make E29,785 and E14.31 while the 90th percentile will make E79,113 and E38.03. Their pay can be affected by bonuses and profit shares. Additionally, typical bonus ranges up to E15,126, and a profit share is similar at E15,101. In sum, they can expect an income of E30,438 to E87,713.

How Much Does an Actuary Make in Australia?

Those working as actuaries in Australia earn anywhere from AU$58,181 to AU$175,000 annually. This equals an hourly rate of AU$27.97 to AU$84.13. A bonus of AU$2,061 to AU$40,134 and profit sharing of AU$1,007 to AU$59,598 adds to this base salary. These professionals can expect a take home pay of AU$58,981 to AU$193,157.

How Much Does an Actuary Make in New Zealand?

There is no information on a general salary band for actuaries in New Zealand. Rather it is segmented by experience and location. A training actuary can expect anywhere from NZ$35,000 to NZ$70,000 while a qualified actuary sees a salary from NZ$90,000 to NZ$120,000. However, a senior actuary sees wages up to NZ$200,000.

How Much Does an Actuary Make in India?

The actuary salary in India is Rs 294,562 to Rs 3,165,986. The salary can increase through a rather large bonus of Rs 1,174,457 and an equally large profit share of Rs 1,489,940. The estimated hourly rate based on a 40 hour work week is Rs 141.61 to Rs 1,522.10. In sum, their pay is Rs 295,898 to Rs 4,289,401.

How Much Does an Actuary Make in South Africa?

Actuaries working in South Africa can expect a base salary anywhere from R239,269 to R1,166,951. The estimated hourly rate is R115.03 to R561.03. Additional sources of income include a bonus from R6,183 to R264,972 and profit sharing of R79,505. Their full salary is R248,315 to R1,333,809.

2. Experience

An actuary salary increases significantly as they gain more experience. In South Africa, there is a sharp increase of approximately R700,000 between entry-level and experienced actuaries while Australia sees a similar increase in Australian dollars. In India, those with 20 years of experience earn 318 percent above the median while actuary starting salary earn 15 percent less. Those who work in Canada that have more than 20 years of experience earn C$80,000 more than entry-level actuaries. In the United States and the United Kingdom, pay increases sharply for the first 10 years and then experiences a more moderate growth.

The most common years of experience in all of the countries that used Payscale for salary ranges is 1-4 years.

3. Industry

The Society of Actuaries is a professional organization that helps to collect and share many industry happenings with actuaries in the United States. In addition, the International Actuarial Association acts as the international organization that gathers all of the different actuary societies.

The most common industries actuarial jobs are in our finance and insurance, professional services, management of companies, and government. Actuaries will also work for colleges, banks, and fraternal organizations. An actuary job responsibilities make them vital to the insurance industry. Thus, those with experience in calculating risk and giving proper estimates on potential payouts will be in demand.

The top paying industries for actuaries working in the United States are credit intermediation, Brokerages, business organization, insurance and employment funds, and for the federal government. The mean actuary salary for those working in credit intermediation is $152,680, and for those in the federal government, it is $119,920.

Schedule & Working Hours

Most actuaries worked full-time and extra hours are not unusual. Approximately 25 percent of actuaries in the United States worked more than 40 hours a week in 2014. The vast majority of these professionals work in an office setting and work most of their hours between 8 AM and 5 PM. However, some actuaries serve as consultants, and they may need to travel for their jobs.

Bonuses & Benefits

Actuaries receive many of the same benefits as other full-time employees in white collar professions. These benefits include healthcare, retirement, tuition savings, employee assistance programs, paid time off, and professional development money.

Actuaries who are self-employed will have to purchase all of these benefits for themselves. However, they typically receive a higher pay for their services.

The table below shows healthcare benefits received in different countries.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 92 84 71 27 64 73
Dental 77 79 19 10 5 11
Vision 67 69 21 8 5 10
None 7 9 24 69 32 26

Career Outlook

In the United States, the job outlook is projected to grow 18 percent through the year 2024. This is a relatively small profession, to begin with. As companies become increasingly complex, they need actuaries who can measure the risk of many different activities.

There is a large learning curve on how to become an actuary. Students who can pass multiple examinations and have a high GPA will be more competitive in the job market.

When looking at gender ratios, this is a male-dominated profession. In South Africa, 92 percent of actuaries are men while in the United Kingdom that number is 78 percent. The country with the highest proportion of female actuaries is Australia at 48 percent female. The United States, Canada, and India all fall somewhere in the 70 percent range for male actuaries.


The actuary salary is quite high as they are necessary for several different industries. Managing risk is the number one most important responsibility that these professionals have. The actuary career outlook is quite positive at 18 percent, but the field is small overall. Like a financial advisor, they require excellent knowledge of finance and risk assessment. People who are good with numbers and deal with stress effectively would be good candidates for an actuary job.

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