How to Become a Math Teacher
Math teachers create classroom strategies that ensure students understand the mathematical concepts appropriate for their grade; they develop lesson plans, prepare the class for exams, and assign homework. Math teachers might instruct students as young as elementary school, or they can work with adults at the post-secondary level. Being a successful math teacher requires excellent planning and communication skills, creativity, patience, and the knowledge necessary to convey often complex concepts to students. Math educators work in either public or private schools, colleges, universities, community colleges, and online programs.
How to Become a Math Teacher
Becoming a teacher typically requires earning at least a Bachelor's degree. For a math teacher, a Bachelor's degree in mathematics or a related discipline is helpful, but a degree in education can also be a pathway to this career. Teaching in public school requires a license to teach, but teaching in private schools or at the post-secondary level may not. In addition, each state might have different requirements for teachers on every level. To be certain of the requirements in your state, check with your state department of education.
Teaching math at the elementary or middle school level typically requires only a Bachelor's degree and a license, but some states require that a teacher continue their education to receive a Master's degree after obtaining their teaching certification. Those who want to teach on the high school level may be encouraged to earn a Master's degree. Those who want to teach post-secondary students usually need a Master's degree, although many employers prefer either an extensive history of work experience or a doctoral degree to teach at the college or university level.
Potential Career Earnings of a Math Teacher
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for teachers increase every year, mostly due to the fact that higher numbers of students are enrolling in schools. Teachers on the elementary, middle school and post-secondary level can expect growth of 17 percent, but high school teachers will see slower than average growth of 7 percent. This might be due to the fact that while younger grades are booming with higher enrollments right now, high school growth has yet to catch up to the rising population.
According to May 2013 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary and middle school teachers make an annual mean wage of $56,420. Though post-secondary education teachers in general earned an annual mean salary of $74,620 per year, math and computer professors made slightly more than that at $76,910, according to the BLS.
If you are interested in a career as a math educator, check out the schools below that offer education programs. Someone will be in contact to answer any questions you might have about the program.
1. High School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-1
2. Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-1
3. May 2013 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
4. Middle School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm#tab-1
5. Post-Secondary Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-1