The role of an actuary involves the assessment, evaluation and management of the financial risks faced by individuals, households, investors, companies and governments as they plan for the future. These risks vary from an illness, disability or death of an individual to the effects of a cyclone, earthquake or a major economic or social change. Hence the actuary's work is based upon a multidisciplinary background of mathematics, statistics, demographics, finance and economics.
As a result of this diverse background and their strong analytical skills, actuaries serve as financial advisers to a wide range of commercial organisations involving life, general (non-life) and health insurance companies, superannuation funds, banks, other financial institutions and governments. In most cases, they are asked to tackle a wide range of financial problems, often involving future uncertainty. An ability to express their conclusions in clear and concise language, both in written and oral form, also represents an essential part of their work.