How to Become an Actuary

Qualification Examination

To become an actuary in Japan requires passing the qualification examinations of The Institute of Actuaries of Japan and registering as a Fellow of IAJ

An actuary can be any individual who is fulfilling the role of an actuary; however, in Japan an actuary is a person who is a Fellow of the IAJ. To become a Fellow, a candidate must pass all of the subjects of the IAJ qualification examinations, which are offered once each year, and complete the professionalism training and the specific area training (introductory training).

A candidate must successfully complete examinations on seven subjects—a Primary Examination of five Basic Subjects and a Secondary Examination of two Advanced Subjects—which requires a minimum of two years.

One unique characteristic of the IAJ credential is that it requires actual experience working in the capacity of an actuary. Most Fellows earned their certification by studying and taking the exams while engaged in actuary work at their organization.

Candidates may fulfill one of the qualification requirements for an IAJ Fellow by serving as a Hoken Keirinin (Appointed Actuary), Nenkin Sūrinin (Certified Pension Actuary), or other related position.

Steps to Certification

The Primary Examination: Basic Subjects


Determine if the candidate has sufficient basic knowledge to take the secondary examination

Exam subjects

  • Mathematics
  • Life Insurance Mathematics
  • Non-Life Insurance Mathematics
  • Pension Mathematics
  • Accounting, Economics and Investment Theory

Pass all subjects*


The Secondary Examination: Advanced Subjects


Determine if the candidate has the professional knowledge and problem-solving skill necessary for actuarial practice

Exam subjects

One course selected from the following three categories. No distinction for Fellow status is made based on the course selection

  • Life Insurance Course Life Insurance 1/Life Insurance 2
  • Non-Life Insurance Course Non-Life Insurance 1/Non-Life Insurance 2
  • Pension Course Pension 1/Pension 2

Pass both subjects in one course*

Professionalism Training (introductory training)(Associate members are also eligible)

Specific Area Training (introductory training)(Associate members are also eligible)


* Candidates are not required to pass all primary and secondary examination subjects in one exam and may take one subject at the yearly examination.