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 might 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 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, different states generally 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), the job outlook for teachers is predicted to see a slow but steady increase between 2016 and 2026. Teachers for kindergarten, elementary, middle or high school are expected to see an increase between 7 and 8 percent over these years, a rate that is just about the average of all occupations in the U.S. Postsecondary teachers, however, are predicted to see more of an increase: 15 percent by 2026, a rate that is much faster than average.
Elementary school teachers made an annual mean wage of $59,020 in May 2016, according to findings by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and middle school teachers made an annual mean wage of $59,800. Though post-secondary education teachers in general earned an annual mean salary of $81,880 per year, mathematical science professors made slightly more than that at $82,650, according to the BLS.
If you are interested in a career as a math educator, consider perusing the list of accredited colleges below. Contact any schools you are interested in and learn all about the programs they have available.
- Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm
- Middle School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm
- High School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm
- Post-Secondary Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm
- May 2016 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm