Math Teacher Careers

math teacher correcting student tests
math teacher correcting student tests

If you love mathematics, you know it’s not just about the numbers. Math teachers translate numbers and complex equations into lifelong analytical skills-skills that are essential to addressing the greatest challenges of our day in fields as diverse as technology, engineering, and science. If you get excited about problem-solving and want to pass your knowledge and eagerness on to future generations, a career in math education is waiting for you.

Math Teacher Job Description

By teaching math at the middle and high school levels, you’ll help students understand mathematical structures, conjecture and verify solutions, think hypothetically, and comprehend cause and effect.

By middle school, the math curriculum teaches more algebra and geometry, which are crucial stepping stones to higher math and logic studies. At the high school level, you’ll teach a broader range of math skills, including advanced algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, trigonometry and pre-calculus. Other typical duties include the following:

  • Preparing lesson plans, and grading homework, tests and quizzes
  • Compiling notes and delivering engaging, coherent lectures
  • Accumulating specialized materials for outside reading and homework
  • Coaching teens and young adults individually and in group settings
  • Studying and utilizing the most appropriate learning strategies
  • Engaging the class in stimulating discussions
  • Conducting research and publishing your findings

Work Environment

A typical day for a middle or high school math teacher can include anything from demonstrating how to formulate algebraic equations to testing geometry proofs. There are various methods available to teach math today, including interactive learning, textbooks, workbooks and group exercises.

  • In addition to lectures and demonstrations, math teachers may also incorporate hands-on activities into your teaching strategy.
  • If your class is learning about probability, you might have them break into pairs, throw dice and compute the odds.
  • Or you may have students go out into the hallways and compute the total cubic space of their lockers. More and more, math teachers are incorporating real-life math into their curricula.

How a Does Math Teacher Salary Add Up?

Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Take a look at median salaries for postsecondary math teachers:

Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary

National data

Median Salary: $77,580

Projected job growth: 6%

10th Percentile: $45,280

25th Percentile: $60,310

75th Percentile: $103,420

90th Percentile: $155,350

Projected job growth: 6%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $78,900 $62,060 $100,950
Alabama $62,060 $48,420 $122,690
Arkansas $50,570 $37,600 $79,250
Arizona $63,670 $48,990 $98,070
California $127,720 $71,580 N/A
Colorado $77,100 $48,190 $132,720
Connecticut $81,460 $61,690 $125,270
District of Columbia $77,890 $31,200 $152,950
Delaware $77,630 $48,720 $123,630
Florida $75,910 $19,250 $123,630
Georgia $61,220 $19,070 $97,340
Hawaii $77,100 $39,230 $99,000
Iowa $63,820 $47,760 $123,630
Idaho $63,850 $39,090 $123,350
Illinois $76,790 $39,090 $128,470
Indiana $75,600 $47,580 $132,340
Kansas $49,660 $18,340 $103,600
Kentucky $61,760 $38,470 $103,600
Louisiana $64,420 $37,000 $122,690
Massachusetts $79,290 $49,990 $168,310
Maryland $77,630 $48,990 $126,460
Maine $73,700 $49,860 $103,600
Michigan $81,250 $46,670 $133,990
Minnesota $78,900 $47,470 $128,990
Missouri $71,670 $47,350 $123,350
Mississippi $60,630 $47,340 $99,480
Montana $61,350 $48,190 $97,340
North Carolina $63,900 $48,520 $125,930
North Dakota $73,130 $39,170 $98,410
Nebraska $64,150 $56,980 $119,950
New Hampshire $77,630 $49,990 $155,240
New Jersey $81,740 $48,600 $197,420
New Mexico $77,100 $47,870 $122,690
Nevada $73,700 $35,170 $122,690
New York $98,680 $48,820 $194,540
Ohio $77,740 $38,640 $132,720
Oklahoma $61,580 $38,220 $81,250
Oregon $101,220 $50,540 $164,990
Pennsylvania $77,630 $48,990 $152,950
Rhode Island $98,410 $49,860 N/A
South Carolina $63,900 $47,430 $126,300
South Dakota $61,230 $49,730 $97,340
Tennessee $61,690 $47,290 $122,690
Texas $61,630 $18,340 $103,260
Utah $77,100 $30,600 $132,720
Virginia $64,570 $39,750 $132,510
Vermont $81,250 $47,170 $132,340
Washington $77,980 $61,350 $140,130
Wisconsin $63,900 $48,720 $132,720
West Virginia $48,240 $20,460 $79,460
Wyoming $61,560 $38,670 $95,620

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Because math teachers are in high demand, a career in teaching mathematics offers strong job security. As a public school teacher, you’ll also enjoy comprehensive benefits packages and extensive summer vacations. Another benefit offered to aspiring secondary-school math teachers is the student loan forgiveness program.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

To begin teaching math in a public secondary school, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or higher in mathematics, in addition to completing your teacher certification requirements.

Math teachers are some of the most sought-after educators in the country. Due to a nationwide shortage of qualified teachers in the field, many states now offer alternative teaching certification programs that place math graduates in the classroom as they work toward completing a degree in education.

If you already have a bachelor’s in mathematical science, you have several options. You can choose to complete a fifth year course in education or to pursue a master’s degree in education, which some states require public school teachers to earn within a certain number of years.

Getting Certified as a Math Teacher

All states require public school teachers to be certified. Since state requirements vary, it is important to check with your state Department of Education to find out the minimum qualifications. Some states may even require you to continue professional development by taking supplemental courses.

Ready to Get Started?