Mathematics Degrees

Career summary: Mathematicians

Average Salary


National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook


23% job growth by 2022, which is much faster than average

Earn a degree in mathematics from an accredited college


Mathematics original

Why would I want a mathematics degree?

A degree in mathematics will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to have an exciting career in a field with great job opportunities and average salaries in the six figures. If you are mathematically inclined, if you are looking for a diverse degree, and you are prepared to earn an advanced degree, then a degree in mathematics may be just the degree you are looking for.

Job Description

What do people with mathematics degrees do?

Mathematics is one of the oldest sciences in existence, and is used by most people on a daily basis. People who earn degrees in mathematics generally go on to become teachers and/or mathematicians. Mathematicians use math, mathematical formulas, and algorithms to explain patterns and help solve problems in many different areas, including economics, science, business, and engineering. There are two subsets that comprise the field of mathematics: theoretical mathematics and applied mathematics.

Theoretical mathematicians use mathematics to seek to explain phenomena and relationships that previously were undefined or not connected. Many theoretical mathematicians work as university professors and split their time doing research and teaching.

Applied mathematicians use mathematical theory, equations, and principles to solve practical problems in many different fields. Some common applied mathematician positions are listed below.

  • Actuaries: They use mathematics to estimate the probability and likely cost to companies if an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability, or loss of property occurs.
  • Biomathematics: In this field, mathematicians use mathematical principles to model, represent, and help treat biological processes.
  • Financial Mathematicians: They use their expertise with numbers to help show or predict trends in the market, which other professionals in the finance industry use for things such as mortgage backing, financial derivatives, and stock market analysis.
  • Operations Research Analysts: They use math to develop and interpret information that assists management with policy formulation and other managerial functions.
  • Statisticians: They use scientific application of mathematical principles to explain the results of surveys and experiments.

The industries that employ the highest amount of statisticians are listed below.

  • Federal Government
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services


How much do mathematicians make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for mathematicians in May, 2010 was $99,380. The middle 50 percent earned between $70,370 and $120,590. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $153,620. The median hourly wage for mathematicians in 2010 was $47.78.

The states with the highest average annual salaries for mathematicians were Maryland, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Illinois, and Virginia. They paid out a combined average annual salary of $114,740.

Career Outlook

How popular are mathematician jobs?

Jobs in mathematics have always been popular, and they will continue to be popular into the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this industry will increase by 22 percent through the year 2018, which is much faster than the average growth rate among all jobs. The biggest factor spurring the growth is new technology, which almost always leads to expanding applications of mathematics.

Career Path

How do I become a mathematician?

Most positions in the mathematics field require a graduate degree; although, for an entry-level mathematician position in the Federal Government, all that is required is a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In most industries, a master’s degree will get you where you want to go. In mathematics, however, a doctorate degree is required for the majority of positions, even in private industry.

Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learning Format



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