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: $77,420

Projected job growth: 3.2%

10th Percentile: $47,740

25th Percentile: $59,900

75th Percentile: $103,960

90th Percentile: $159,730

Projected job growth: 3.2%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $64,030 $47,070 $107,020
Alaska $96,170 $60,080 $127,730
Arizona $64,860 $50,120 $105,800
Arkansas $50,710 $37,350 $78,780
California $109,850 $65,160 $219,850
Colorado $64,180 $39,940 $108,030
Connecticut $84,270 $60,020 $129,240
Delaware $65,690 $45,770 $101,810
District of Columbia $77,270 $50,040 $131,320
Florida $67,650 $47,740 $121,390
Georgia $61,250 $46,270 $106,480
Hawaii $34,590 $27,010 $125,010
Idaho $64,330 $40,450 $106,700
Illinois $76,850 $48,210 $125,050
Indiana $66,810 $48,070 $135,860
Iowa $74,440 $45,730 $133,300
Kansas $59,820 $36,800 $107,500
Kentucky $62,390 $40,580 $106,900
Louisiana $76,480 $48,130 $161,530
Maine $67,100 $51,440 $108,070
Maryland $80,610 $51,080 N/A
Massachusetts $80,820 $58,440 $173,660
Michigan $81,910 $45,450 $168,630
Minnesota $81,760 $51,410 $138,040
Mississippi $60,730 $45,330 $100,160
Missouri $75,870 $46,840 $152,930
Montana $62,400 $47,480 $103,610
Nebraska $66,440 $50,120 $109,250
Nevada $84,610 $48,710 $119,640
New Hampshire $80,670 $50,680 $146,890
New Jersey $101,280 $59,220 $206,150
New Mexico $65,190 $37,670 $111,900
New York $101,230 $49,840 $204,810
North Carolina $65,760 $46,280 $122,260
North Dakota $61,760 $40,770 $82,290
Ohio $79,590 $45,720 $127,380
Oklahoma $61,810 $39,440 $82,100
Oregon $98,020 $51,470 $169,030
Pennsylvania $77,300 $49,080 $134,070
Rhode Island $99,160 $51,740 $214,760
South Carolina $63,570 $46,400 $129,890
South Dakota $61,440 $47,120 $98,970
Tennessee $61,750 $44,610 $125,400
Texas $77,900 $39,280 $133,260
Utah $77,620 $45,500 $137,900
Vermont $96,720 $58,770 $161,410
Virginia $65,640 $47,880 $123,360
Washington $73,750 $51,350 $129,850
West Virginia $61,380 $36,960 $103,960
Wisconsin $76,480 $48,100 $134,480
Wyoming $61,930 $44,860 $100,890

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. 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?