Find out what degree programs can prepare you for work as a math teacher. Learn more about what levels you can teach, in addition to employment prospects and salary information for this career.
Is Teaching Mathematics for Me?
Mathematics teachers show students how to solve mathematical equations and understand numerical concepts. Finding the best teaching level for you often depends on your classroom management, mathematical and test making abilities. In most cases, kindergarten and elementary school teachers cover a variety of subjects, so if you wish to work with younger students you may teach more than math.
Salaries and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wages for all kindergarten and elementary school teachers were $50,120 and $53,400, respectively, as of 2012 (www.bls.gov). Kindergarten and elementary teachers could see a 12% job growth rate from 2012-2022.
Additionally, in the same year, the median wages for all middle school and secondary school teachers were $53,430 and $55,050, respectively, the BLS reported. Middle school teachers should experience employment growth of 12%, while high school teachers will see jobs increase by 6% during the 2012-2022 decade.
Mathematicians working at colleges and universities earned an average salary of $79,830 during 2012, according to the BLS. The wages for mathematics teachers at the postsecondary level varied widely, with most making between $35,210 and $125,760 in 2012. Postsecondary teachers often supplement teaching duties with scholarly research and writing. Job security is good for most mathematics teachers, as at all levels some form of tenure is usually available.
How Can I Become a Mathematics Teacher?
Education and Licensing Requirements
Numerous education options exist for a potential mathematics teacher. Many colleges and universities offer dual degree undergraduate programs in math education, and they join courses from the education and math departments to form a single degree. Some students may choose to major in math and minor in education.
Alternatively, students can earn their bachelor's degree in math before further pursuing a M.Ed. in math education or a master's degree in elementary mathematics. A doctoral degree in mathematics could be for you if you want to work and teach at the postsecondary level and would enjoy research-intensive work.
After completing their educational requirements for teaching math, you must pass a state-licensing exam in order to become a mathematics teacher.
Topics of Study
All students take classes in teaching methods and math studies. They learn how to teach different kinds of math, such as calculus and algebra, to a specific grade level. You can choose to specialize in a particular education level, such as elementary or secondary education, which cover kindergarten through 12th grade.
Some online programs are also offered for prospective mathematics teachers. Teachers must also keep up on advancements in the fields of both mathematics and teaching, including new materials and new methods.