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Education in India, Career in India: Actuarial Science, Insurance

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Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Actuarial Science (Insurance) ? This section features Insurance as a career options, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

Insurance as a profession
Insurance is understood as a coverage by contract wherreby one party undertake to identify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency, the amount for which it is insured. Insurance can therefore cover life, health, goods, equipments, travel or anything of value to the person or organization body. Till very recently, insurance was largely under the government sector. However, now many private multinational firms have come into India with a variety of insurance schemes

The major government companies are Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation (GIC) and Postal Life Insurance. LIC deals with insurance of life while GIC deals with any other type of insurance. In recent years, many private companies including HDFC, ICICI, Kotak Mahindra and Birla sunlife have setup office in India, hence the prospects of getting a good job in insurance compnay has increased a lot.

Area Of Work

A person interested in working inthe field of insurance can either work in the capacity of:

  • An office in one of the areas of insurance (life, general and postal).
  • An agent.
  • An insurance surveyor.
The work of an actuary (one who works in insurance field) involves the calculation of insurance risk, premiums and pension programmes. Actuarial science is build on the statistical evaluation of the financila and economic implications of possible congingencies.

In an insurance company persan can take a job in and as:

  • Administration - deals with the registry of claims.
  • Development - deals with marketing and procurement of business etc.
  • Accounts - deals with the management of funds and their disbursement.
  • Investment - responsible for the investment of funds of insurance company.


  • A person who wants to be an actuary has to pass an entrance exam conducted by the Actuarial Society of India.
  • However, recruitment to the Postal Life Insurance takes place according to the recruitment rules of the postal department.
  • To be an insurance surveyor, a person needs to hold a licence.
  • Private insurance firms take in management graduates to work mainly in the areas of marketing and sales.
The eligibility criterion for recruitment to both the LIC and GIC is the same. An AAO (Assistant Administrative Officer (class I officer)) must be a graduate/postgraduate in any subject with minimum of 50 percent marks, from a recognized university. The candidate's age should be between twenty-one and twenty-eight years. AAO's recruitment exam is an all India level exam. To be recruited as a clas II officer, the candidate has to be a graduate in any descipline. Class III and class IV levels are open to graduates and school-leavers.

An insurance surveyor, to be eligible to hold a licence, must fulfil one of the following qualifications:

  • Fellowship of associateship through the exam held by the Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Adjusters (IISA), Mumbai.
  • Degree or diploma in architecture from a recognized university.
  • Fellowship or associateship of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Institute of Cost and works Accountants.
  • Degree of diploma from a recognized engineering institute.
  • Degree or diploma in naval architecture.


Actuarial Science is mainly offered as a three year degree course by some universities, or as one of the subjects of a degree programme. There are also short term courses in insurance or actuarial science, ranging from six months to two years. The Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai also grooms insurance personnel for a career in the LIC. The highest qualification for a career in insurance is that of a Fellow of the Institute of Insurance, London. This requries a licentiate in insurance, for which three papers have to be cleared, followed by eight papers for an associateship, and further four papers to qualify for the fellowship. The training imparts skills in the science of assumptions and probabilities, and fine tunes arithmetical and mathematical faculties.

Placements And Prospects

There are plenty of jobs in the insurance sector today, in both government and private sectors. In fact, the estimated requirement for trained professionals is expected to be more than 30,000 over the next two to threee years. Groth in the insurance profession depends totally on the individual.


In government sector, the pay scale of the officers in the insurance sector as given by the government of India is in the range of Rs 3000-Rs 8000 for development officers and go upto Rs 14,000-16,000 for zonal managers. Along the basic pay given above, allowances amount is about more than 200 percent of the basic pay. In private sector, starting salaries are in th range of Rs 6000 to Rs 9000 per month, where management graduates can start with Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month.

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