# Math Teacher Careers

An interest in math can lead to a variety of careers, from engineering to working as a mathematician. For those who have a passion for mathematics but also desire constant interaction with others and the sense of accomplishment that comes from preparing the next generation, a career as a math teacher may be a good fit.

## Preparation

While the specific requirements for obtaining a teaching license vary by state, they typically involve obtaining a bachelor's degree in education or math, and completing an internship usually referred to as "student teaching." Candidates may also have to pass a competency test before becoming licensed. Those who wish to teach mathematics at the college level will need at least a master's degree, although a Ph.D. is necessary for most jobs at four-year colleges.

## Responsibilities and Schedules

Math teachers are not only responsible for instructing the students and managing the classroom during the school day, but also for many activities which may take place outside the school day such as grading papers and tests and planning lessons. In general, math professors do not work as many hours as math teachers, but they do typically teach several classes a semester and hold regular office hours. Although they may teach summer school or summer classes, many math teachers and professors have summers off, as well as several shorter breaks scattered throughout the year.

## Pay Scales

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, middle school teachers reported a median salary of $51,960 per year as of May 2010. High school teachers reported a median annual income of $53,230 during the same period. Math professors earn substantially more, reporting an average pay of $74,460 per year as of May 2011. Math professors employed at junior colleges averaged $71,660, while those working at colleges and universities averaged $77,000 per year. In general, teacher salaries tend to be higher in the West and in the Northeast.

## Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an average employment growth of 14 percent across all occupational categories in the decade between 2010 and 2020. By comparison, the projected growth rate for middle school teachers and college professors is 17 percent, while it is only 7 percent for high school teachers. However, math teachers are in higher demand (and shorter supply) than teachers in the humanities. It is also worth noting that employment growth among teachers is expected to disproportionate throughout the country, with the highest rates in the West and South and the lowest rates in the Northeast and Midwest.