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Old 10-11-2017, 03:51 PM
Af435 Af435 is offline
 
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Default UK and Swiss actuarial market

Looking at all the threads with discussions regarding the American actuarial curriculum, progression, salaries and benefits quite depresses me. It seems like starting salary here is at most 30k pounds (and they butcher you after taxes) and that's living in London which is a nightmare.

I will be graduating next year with a placement in a prestigious investment bank under my belt (they don't really pay interns much), a first in actuarial science from a top 20 uni, 8 exams completed by the time I graduate, sas/sql/vba/python fluency and all the generic prequisites someone is supposed to have to compete in this industry (well apart from a prestigious uni but I am unsure how that will influence my entry level prospects).

How much are actuaries with 3-5 years experience making in the uk? Are you guys living comfortably? What salaries/bonus should one expect with 3-5 years experience? How much were you making when you got your entry level job? Which industry is the most well paid (insurance, pension, consulting etc)? Which has the best work life balance and the best long term or short term profits? Which has the most interesting work and allows for amazing personal progression?

It depresses me when I see ads from Swiss reinsurers advertising vacancies with experience of 5 years offering 150k cfh plus bonus, or American insurers 100k dollars +.
How hard would it be to get American sponsorship and move to the US for an entry level job? Where should I even be aiming in the uk market in terms of EL vacancies that can be matched with my qualifications?
How does one even acquire sponsorship to move to the US or Switzerland? Would Switzerland be a realistic destination for graduate actuarial jobs?


Many thanks
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:05 AM
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GargoyleWaiting GargoyleWaiting is offline
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Originally Posted by Af435 View Post

I will be graduating next year with a placement in a prestigious investment bank under my belt (they don't really pay interns much), a first in actuarial science from a top 20 uni, 8 exams completed by the time I graduate, sas/sql/vba/python fluency and all the generic prequisites someone is supposed to have to compete in this industry (well apart from a prestigious uni but I am unsure how that will influence my entry level prospects).
I assume you've been doing one of the Actuarial Science degrees at your non-prestigious uni? Then you'll be fine. It's the quality of the course that matters, and if the IFoA have given exemptions to it it's good enough.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Af435 View Post
Looking at all the threads with discussions regarding the American actuarial curriculum, progression, salaries and benefits quite depresses me. It seems like starting salary here is at most 30k pounds (and they butcher you after taxes) and that's living in London which is a nightmare.

...

How much are actuaries with 3-5 years experience making in the uk? Are you guys living comfortably? What salaries/bonus should one expect with 3-5 years experience? How much were you making when you got your entry level job?
After 3-5 years you should be qualified, and ought to be on at least 60k. This varies a lot depending on what you've done in those years, but that's my rough and ready number.


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Originally Posted by Af435 View Post
Which industry is the most well paid (insurance, pension, consulting etc)? Which has the best work life balance and the best long term or short term profits? Which has the most interesting work and allows for amazing personal progression?

I think the biggest choice isn't insurance/consulting - it's Life/General/Pensions. Once you pick that track you can move between companies easily, but it's harder to switch between tracks once you have more than a couple of years experience.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Af435 View Post
It depresses me when I see ads from Swiss reinsurers advertising vacancies with experience of 5 years offering 150k cfh plus bonus, or American insurers 100k dollars +.
How hard would it be to get American sponsorship and move to the US for an entry level job? Where should I even be aiming in the uk market in terms of EL vacancies that can be matched with my qualifications?
How does one even acquire sponsorship to move to the US or Switzerland? Would Switzerland be a realistic destination for graduate actuarial jobs?
I don't know about the US at all, but the impression I get from here is that it's really hard to get sponsored.

And Switzerland's expensive - that's why the pay looks higher.

There was a thread in careers a while ago discussing relative pay, which I can't find now, but the feeling was that the UK starts lower, but it's all relatively level once you get to qualified with a few years experience.



Getting EL jobs overseas is hard unless there's a shortage of native graduates. Mostly because:
a) there will be extra hoops for the employer to jump through to give you the job; and
b) there's a risk to the employer that you don't like the new country and leave

If you have a good reason to move to that country than maybe you can do a good enough sell to convince them that you're worth the effort. Note - "the pay looks better" isn't a good reason.

I'd suggest getting on to a recruiter if you want to move abroad though, they'll know more about it - have a look in the actuary magazine and pick one that has a few overseas jobs advertised, they'll be able to give you proper guidance.
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