What Careers Use Calculus?

Get to know a variety of different careers that use calculus in their day-to-day work. Find out about their education requirements, projected job growth, and median incomes to determine if any of these careers are right for you. Schools offering Mathematics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers at a Glance

Calculus is the branch of math that studies how variables change continuously and how those changes affect different functions. It is used in many real-world situations to enhance our understanding of fields such as engineering, medicine, and economics. In the table below, you'll find information about a variety of careers that utilize calculus, including their education requirements, projected job growth, and median incomes.

Careers Meteorologist Mathematician Medical Scientist High School Math Teacher Civil Engineer
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's for some positions; master's degree most common Ph.D. Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements None None None State licensure; requirements vary by state Optional Professional Engineering (PE) certification
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% (for all atmospheric scientists)* 30%* 13%* 8% (for all high school teachers)* 11%*
Median Income (2017) $92,070 (for all atmospheric scientists)* $103,010* $82,090* $59,170 (for all high school teachers)* $84,770*

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why Does a Meteorologist Need To Know Calculus?

Meteorologists are responsible for collecting data regarding temperatures, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, humidity levels, and other elements that affect the weather. They study these patterns in order to increase our scientific understanding of how weather occurs and what we can do to accurately predict it in the future. Meteorologists use calculus when analyzing the atmospheric data that they collect. They often work alongside other specialists such as oceanographers, climate scientists, or engineers to aid in the development of projects or research. These specialists all draw upon their knowledge of complex mathematical understandings in order to make accurate predictions and to develop new technologies. Thus, advanced calculus skills are essential to the success of a meteorologist's work.

What Do Mathematicians Do?

Mathematicians analyze data sets by solving complex math equations. They use their foundational understanding of mathematics and apply it to real-world contexts to aid in the developments of other industries. They carry out experiments to test new theories in different scenarios and then analyze their findings in reports and models. Because calculus is at the core of many complex equations, mathematicians use their calculus skills on a daily basis to offer solutions to such problems. They work in a variety of fields that require data analysis, such as healthcare and government positions as well as with businesses and corporations. Mathematicians may also work for colleges and universities and conduct research to further develop the field of calculus in abstract and theoretical forms.

How Do Medical Scientists Use Math?

Medical scientists research ways in which medicine and treatments can improve an individual's overall physical health. In order to do so, they investigate biological processes through controlled experimentation and then analyze the data to determine solutions. Medical scientists use calculus during the analysis stage of their data; they measure how derivatives change in a given scenario and what that indicates in terms of biological processes. Much of the knowledge that medical scientists must draw upon is founded in mathematical theories that use calculus to solve problems. It is the medical scientist's job to use their understanding of this field and apply these theories to real-world contexts that help develop medicine, technology, and treatment.

How Do I Become a High School Math Teacher?

High school math teachers must not only be able to solve complex mathematical equations, but they must be able to break down their understanding of these equations and explain them to students. High school math teachers can specialize in a variety of different mathematics, calculus being one of the many options. All states require that prospective high school math teachers have a bachelor's degree in mathematics or a specialty within the field, like calculus. It is also helpful to take classes on student development and pedagogy.

All states require that teachers earn licensure; while licensure requirements vary by state, they all require that candidates pass written exams in their subject area and in educational theory and practice. High school math teachers that teach calculus must use their mathematical knowledge to develop lesson plans for students to learn calculus that is both theoretical and can be applied to real-world contexts.

What Do Civil Engineers Need Calculus For?

Civil engineers are responsible for analyzing long-range plans for areas of prospective building sites, developing blueprints for projects using hardware design programs, and overseeing all surveying and building operations, among many other tasks. They are required to have advanced mathematical skills and often use calculus when creating plans for new systems. Their blueprint drawings require that they can solve complex math equations to predict how new structures will function in a given environment. An understanding of calculus allows a civil engineer to develop new building and structures and to ensure their safe and efficient installation.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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