Actuary vs Accountant Salary UK

Actuary vs Accountant Salary UK! 

In the UK, both actuaries and accountants earn good salaries. But, actuaries usually earn more than accountants  On average, actuaries earn between £20,000 and £300,000 per year, with the average being £51,500. 

Accountants’ salaries can vary a lot, but generally, they earn less than actuaries. This is because actuaries need more specialized training and technical knowledge. The highest salaries for actuaries can go over £140,000. 

But remember, these are averages. Actual salaries can change based on things like experience, skills, and the company you work for. 

What are the key responsibilities of an Actuary and an Accountant in the UK?

What are the key responsibilities of an Actuary and an Accountant in the UK


  • Use mathematical modelling techniques and statistical concepts to determine probability and assess risks.
  • Analyse statistical data to make calculations, for example, accident rates for particular groups of people.
  • Develop new financial products.
  • Prepare presentations, reports, valuations and quarterly updates.
  • Monitor risk within trading positions in investment banking.
  • Advise on issues such as the selection of investment managers or the administration of pensions and benefits.
  • Work with IT professionals to develop systems to ensure compliance with the requirements of regulatory bodies.
  • Carry out relationship management, liaising with clients such as investment managers, financial directors and external stakeholders.


  • Ensure that financial documents are accurate and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Perform periodic accounting tasks, such as credit and debit reconciliation, auditing and reviewing financial reports when needed.
  • Prepare and keep up to date major financial reports.
  • Prepare tax forms and ensure that the organisation pays taxes on time and correctly.
  • Evaluate financial processes to promote best practices
  • Provide cost-effective, revenue-boosting and profit-maximising advice.
  • Perform and direct risk analysis evaluations.

What educational background and qualifications are required?

What educational background and qualifications are required to become an Actuary or an Accountant in the UK

To become an Actuary in the UK, you generally need a degree in a subject that involves a lot of numbers, like maths, statistics, economics, or actuarial science. 

If you do really well in your degree (usually getting at least a 2:1) and you also did well in your A levels, you could become an actuary. Some people also do a postgraduate degree in actuarial science, which can make the process quicker.

For Accountants, there are lots of different qualifications you can get, and you don’t always need previous experience or qualifications. 

If you’ve done A-levels or a degree in accounting, you might not have to do some parts of the qualifications, which can make it quicker to become an accountant. 

In the UK, the main qualifications for accountants are AAT, ACA, ACCA, CIMA and CIPFA. Which one you do can depend on things like your education, how you want to study, and where you live.

How do the salaries of Actuaries and Accountants compare in the UK?

Actuaries are people who work out the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. They use maths, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events. This is especially important for insurance and pension programs. 

In the UK, an actuary’s salary can be anywhere from £20,000 to £300,000 per year. The average is around £51,500. This can change based on things like how much experience they have, where their job is, and what sector they work in.

Accountants are people who prepare and check financial records. They make sure that financial records are correct and that taxes are paid properly and on time. 

Accountants help make sure that organizations run efficiently. The salaries of accountants in the UK can change a lot depending on their role, the industry they work in, and their level of experience.

Even though both jobs pay well, actuaries usually earn more than accountants. This is probably because actuaries need more specialized training and technical knowledge. 

What does the typical career progression look like for Actuaries and Accountants in the UK?

What does the typical career progression look like for Actuaries and Accountants in the UK


They start as trainee actuaries, often working in insurance or finance.

Gain experience and pass professional exams to become qualified actuaries.

May progress to senior or management roles, overseeing junior analysts or managing small teams within the company.

With further experience, they may lead larger teams or become the head of a department within the organization.


Begin their careers in junior roles such as an associate or accounts assistant, earning between £16,000 and £24,000.

As they gain experience and qualifications, they can progress to roles like an associate or accounts clerk, with salaries between £25,000 and £28,000.

Once they are in the final stage of chartered qualifications, they can work as an assistant supervisor or a financial analyst, earning between £32,000 and £42,000.

Chartered accountants with up to three years’ experience can expect a salary of between £45,000 and £60,000.

With three to five years’ experience, they can earn between £55,000 and £90,000.

After being chartered for five or more years, they could look forward to leadership roles as a director, partner, head of finance, or Chief Finance Officer.


Is it worth becoming an actuary in the UK? 

Yes, it’s worth it. Being an actuary in the UK is a well-paid job that offers good prospects and is both challenging and rewarding.

Can actuaries be millionaires? 

Yes, it’s possible. Actuaries can earn a lot of money, and with good financial management, they could become millionaires.

Which country pays actuaries the most? 

Actuaries tend to earn the highest salaries in Switzerland.

Which field of actuary is best? 

The best field depends on what you’re interested in. But generally, General Insurance is the highest paying area, followed by Life and Investments.

Who hires the most actuaries? 

Many companies hire actuaries. Some examples are consultancies like Deloitte, EY, PwC, and KPMG, and insurance firms like Aviva, Legal & General, Prudential, and Standard Life.

Which country has the highest demand for actuaries? 

Many countries need actuaries. But the demand is especially high in developing countries. Most actuaries belong to an association in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, or Spain.

Is there a future for actuaries? 

Yes, there is. The role of actuaries is changing because of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation. These changes mean that actuaries can do more strategic work, like providing key insights and helping with strategy.

Is actuary an introvert job? 

Actuarial work can be good for introverts because it often involves working with numbers and data analysis, which can be done on your own. But actuaries also need to be able to communicate their findings, which means they need to be able to work with others.

Do actuaries have a good future? 

Yes, they do. The demand for actuaries is expected to increase a lot, and new technologies are allowing actuaries to do more strategic work. This means they can help with making important decisions.

Final thoughts

Both actuaries and accountants in the UK earn competitive salaries. However, actuaries generally earn more due to their specialized training and technical knowledge. But remember, salary isn’t everything. 

It’s also important to consider job satisfaction, work-life balance, and career progression opportunities when choosing a profession. So, while actuaries may earn more on average, the best profession for you depends on your personal interests and career goals. 

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