Math Teacher Career Outlook & Job Description
A math teacher instructs students in the broad field of mathematics. This can include general math or any of the related courses of algebra, calculus, or geometry. Mathematics teachers should possess strong skills and knowledge, and must be able to communicate this effectively to their students, be they elementary, secondary or post-secondary. Math teachers’ jobs can be very rewarding; they play a vital role in encouraging intellectual development, which can be key to determining the future for some students. Math teachers need patience, skill and understanding in order to achieve the goal of adequately instructing and preparing students with the mathematics knowledge necessary for many aspects of everyday life.
Math Teacher Requirements and Common Tasks
Math teachers create their lesson plans to instruct their students in the general or specialized subject of mathematics. They prepare math assignments, homework, and tests to impart knowledge and understanding. They also assess student’s progress and abilities throughout the school year. Math teachers may be required to supervise study halls or home rooms, extracurricular activities or field trips. They may also provide assistance to students in choosing further courses of study in high school or college. Most math teachers will participate in workshops and conferences. Becoming a math teacher requires a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education, with completion of any necessary student teaching. Instructors also must be licensed by their respective state board of education. Math teacher certification programs are also available in many states.
Math Teacher Salary and Job Outlook
The median math teacher salary for educators in elementary, middle, and secondary schools can range from $47,100 to $51,180. The bottom ten percent receive $30,970 to $34,280; the top ten percent receive between $75,190 and $80,970. Math teachers also enjoy a benefit package dependent on their individual employer. Math teacher jobs are available for general and specialized instructors in both public and private schools. Elementary, middle and high school math teachers may advance and increase their annual salary by accruing years of experience or additional education. The entire career field of education is expected to see steady growth in employment opportunities through 2018, with a potential increase of up to 15 percent.
Math Teacher Interviews
See our career interviews for insights and advice on teaching math.
Interview with Scott Keltner, Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominee
Interview with Jose Vilson, New York Math Teacher and Co-Author of TEDx Speaker
Interview with Lorrie Quirk, President of the Associated Mathematics Teachers in Connecticut
Interview with Professor Joanne Becker, President of the California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
Interview with Catherine Martin, President of the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Math Education Teaching Degrees and Programs
- Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program, Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
- M.A. Teaching - Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
- M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9, or 5-12)
- B.A. Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
- And more...
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Mathematics
- Special Education (Middle Level/High School)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Methods & Curriculum
- And more...
- M.S.Ed - Mathematics (Grades 5-8)
- M.S.Ed - Mathematics (Grades K-6)
- Ed.S. in Assessment Evaluation and Accountability - General Program
- Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model
- And more...
- B.S. in Secondary Education: Math
- B.S. in Elementary Education: Math (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- M.A. in Teaching - Professional Learning Communities (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- And more...
- MA in Teaching: Advanced Studies in Secondary Education- National Board Preparation
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Math Teacher
Question: What are the high school math teacher requirements?
Answer: The requirements for being a teacher vary by each state. In general, though, to be a high school math teacher, you must have a college degree with a major or minor in math. You must also complete a teacher preparation program and pass a test for certification. For most states, you will also have to show competency in math by passing a subject area test.