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16 Best Jobs for Math Majors

Let’s face it: math isn’t for everyone. 

While everyone has the potential to understand and use math, some people are gifted with natural mathematical skills. Some people, to the amazement of others, actually enjoy math. They find numbers fascinating and truly relish the process of solving math problems. 

If you are one of the people who enjoys numbers, then perhaps you should consider an education in mathematics, which will prepare you for one of the best jobs for math majors. 

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What Skills Will You Get with a Math Major? 

There are many skills that you will gain throughout your education as a math major. You’ll gain mathematical skills, including the language of math and the rules of mathematical logic. You’ll understand how to prove or disprove mathematical concepts, and how to extract real-world meaning from what appears to be a jumble of confusing and complexing numbers. 

There are, however, other skills beyond hard math. You’ll gain analytical skills, including how to think clearly, pay attention to precise details, and follow complex reasoning to reach specific conclusions. 

Problem solving will also become a part of your skill set. During your studies as a math major, you’ll learn how to formulate advanced methods to solve complex mathematical problems. You’ll learn not only how to perform established mathematical methods, you’ll have the foundation for creating your own solutions. 

Best Math Jobs: The Methodology

To make this list, we relied on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides expansive and consistent information on the job market. We looked at the career field’s median salary, as well as the median salary for the top earned in that career. We also looked at the minimum educational and experience to land these positions, although this can vary. For example, some employers may only require a master’s degree for a math teacher, while some teaching positions may require an additional certificate or a doctorate level education. 

We also looked at expected career growth, which the BLS lists for 2016 to 2026. The average expected job growth in the U.S. is 7%. With that in mind, let’s look at the highest-paying jobs you can get with a math degree…

3 Highest-Paying Entry Level Jobs for Math Majors

If you are fresh out of college and have little experience in the field, these three jobs are ideal for you. These are jobs for math majors that don’t require more than a bachelor’s degree and almost never require high levels of on-the-job training or previous work experience. 

#1   Database Administrator

Avg. Salary: $87,020
Career Growth: 11%
Typical Education Level: Bachelor’s degree

A database administrator is responsible for utilizing highly-specialized software to store, organize, and implement data. While computer skills tend to dominate the majority of this career, there is a need for mathematical skills that help make the database more effective and useful to the company. There are no requirements for previous work experience or on-the-job training, but you will need additional education in databases, such as a minor in database technology. Consider an online master’s in database technologies for a leg up in the job market. With an expected growth of 11%, this is a career that will be around for quite some time. 

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#2   Financial Analyst

Avg. Salary: $84,300
Career Growth: 11%
Typical Education Level: Bachelor’s degree

Investment decisions can be complex and difficult to predict. To reduce risk and increase the chances of long-term financial benefits, companies and individuals often employ financial analysts. In this job, you will assess the performance of stocks, evaluate financial data, and study economic business trends. The ability to use math (such as statistics) to enhance future success is crucial to this job. The career has no requirements for previous experience, and most companies will not require on-the-job training as long as you have an appropriate background, which can include, in addition you your math major, certain licenses and certifications. Consider a certificate in finance to accompany your mathematics degree. Many companies and individuals need the help of financial analysts, which is why the career is expected to grow by 11%.

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#3   Market Research Analyst

Avg. Salary: $63,230
Career Growth: 23%
Typical Education Level: Bachelor’s degree

If a company is going to invest thousands or even millions of dollars into a product or service, they have to know whether there is a realistic market for that offering. The job of market research analysts is to make this determination. Using advanced methods and mathematics, they will monitor the market, forecast sales trends, and measure the effectiveness of marketing programs. This job requires a bachelor’s degree in most cases, and there is rarely a requirement for advanced on-the-job training or previous experience. Also, it has an expected career growth of 23%, which means it’s one of the most stable careers available and one of the tops entry level jobs for math majors. 

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13 Best Jobs for Math Majors

Now let’s look at the best math jobs that have excellent, lifelong career potential coupled with impressive salaries.

 Physicist  Average salary: $117,220

“E=MC2” is just one of the numerous math equations created by physicists. These highly advanced and educated professionals study how the universe works, which includes how matter and energy interact. From the nature of time to the behavior of electrons, physicists use some of the most complex mathematics to design and test theories. While you’ll need a doctorate-level education for this career, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics is a great start. This career offers one of the best salaries for people with mathematical minds and education. At over $117,220, and the top 10% earning over $165,000, this is a wonderful career for math majors. With a career growth of 14%, this is a stable career for people who can keep up with the complex mathematics.

Required Education: Doctorate

 Information Research Scientist  Average salary: $114,520

Computing technology is always changing, and it’s the responsibility of information research scientists to invent and design new ways of using these systems. This may not seem like a mathematical career, but the ability to solve complex problems, often using math as a foundation, is critical. This career calls for a master’s degree in computer science or a similar field, but a bachelor’s in mathematics, along with a computer-related minor, is a wonderful way to start your education. If you work your way to the top of this career, you can expect to earn over $176,780 a year, and with a career growth of 19%, it’s stable as well as lucrative.

Required Education: Master degree

 Economist  Average salary: $102,490

This career can take many different forms, but it generally involves studying and analyzing the economy, including the production of goods, resources, and services. Economists may research economic issues, analyze data, interpret market trends, and conduct surveys, all of which require a strong understanding for mathematics. This career is often employed by government agencies, as well as scientific research organizations. With a median salary of $102,490, this is a strong career field, and the top 10% can actually earn over $172,580. Compared to other mathematical careers, the growth might seem small, but this is actually right along the national average. 

Required Education: Master degree

 Actuary  Average salary: $101,560

This job is all about risk. Specifically, it’s about assessing risk vs financial costs to help businesses make decisions. Actuaries help companies make choices about many different aspects, including policies, prices, expenses, and more. The work can include compiling statistical information, estimating probability, and testing insurance policies. Although most of the work is done on computes, having a basic understanding of mathematics is essential for this career. The top actuaries in the country are poised to make over $184,770, and with a career growth of 22%, this is obviously one of the best jobs for math majors. With only a bachelor’s degree required, it’s also one you can start without extensive education beyond a four-year degree.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Financial Advisor  Average salary: $90,640

People need to make financial decisions, but few understand the details of stocks, bonds, taxes, interest, and many other mathematical issues that are involved in finances. The task can include meeting with clients and explaining financial services, but much of the work is math related, such as estimating the returns on retirement accounts or stocks. Although this career calls for no previous work experience, there is often long-term on-the-job training. The career is expected to grow by 15%, meaning there should be work for qualified candidates, and while the median salary is below $100,000, the top 10% can expect to earn more than $208,000!

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Mathematician  Average salary: $84,760

If any career is made for a math major, it’s the mathematician! This obvious career choice for anyone with an understanding and education in math brings responsibilities that include developing mathematical rules, deciding what data is needed for specific questions, and applying mathematical theories to different areas, such as science, engineering, or business. A mathematician has an excellent median salary, but the top 10% can earn over $161,900. There is also an expected career growth of 33%, making it one of the fastest-growing fields that you can join.

Required EducationMaster degree

 Operations Research Analyst  Average salary: $81,390

An operations research analyst performs many duties, but it’s best summed up as a career solving problems using math. In this career, you will identify problems, create mathematical equations to solve them, and use the information to inform policy makers and business leaders. When you work as an operations research analyst, you can expect a career that has a median of $81,390, but the top 10% earn over $134,000. With a 27% expected career growth, there is also a significant chance that you will be able to find work. With only a bachelor’s required, and generally no work experience or on-the-job training, you can often go from a four-year math degree into this career. 

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Post-Secondary Math Teacher  Average salary: $76,000

If you are good with math and want to teach the next generation of mathematicians, actuaries, and financial analysts, then perhaps you should teach at the collegiate level. Post-secondary math teachers develop courses, plan lessons, and work with colleagues to create the best possible teaching plan. Post-secondary teachers earn $76,000 per year, although this is for all post-secondary teachers, not just mathematics professors. The top 10%, however, can earn over $170,160 per year. With a 15% expected career growth, this is a career that will provide opportunities for many people.

Required Education: Master degree or higher

 Budget Analyst  Average salary: $75,240

Are your finances organized? If you hire a budget analyst, they will be. Budget analyst work for businesses and organizations to prepare budgets, create financial report, and plan spending. A large portion (20%) of budget analysts work for the federal government, but they are also found working for educational services, state governments, and professional services. A budget analyst can expect a median salary of $75,240, but if you work your way into the top 10%, you can expect a salary over $113,740. The growth is only 7%, which is lower than many of the mathematical-related careers, but still average for all jobs.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Accountant  Average salary: $69,350

Accountants may need special training and certifications, but a degree in math is a great start to this rewarding and consistent career. These professionals will examine financial statements, compute tax information, and organize financial records, and while they often work for governments, insurance companies, and independent offices, most will work for accounting and bookkeeping companies. The median pay for this career is nearly $70,000, but if you work your way into the top 10%, you can expect an annual salary over $122,000. Consider a master’s in accounting to advance job opportunities. At 10% expected growth, this is also a career that is expected to maintain steady growth over the next few years.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Cost Estimator  Average salary: $63,110

These professionals estimate the costs of certain projects for companies and organizations. They will collect and analyze data with the goal of figuring the time, materials, and labor, as well as the total financial costs, for many different industries. The job includes not only estimating the costs, but making recommendations for reducing total prices. This career has a strong median income, and the top 10% can expect to earn over $106,000 a year. At 11% expected growth, there is also a significant chance that the position will provide a reliable career for qualified candidates. 

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Insurance Underwriter  Average salary: $69,760

How can an insurance company offer coverage that is profitable and sustainable? It all comes down to measuring statistical probability and costs of coverage. Obviously, this involves a lot of numbers and figures, making it a great career for people who understand mathematics. Insurance underwriters have a median annual salary of nearly $70,000, but the top 10% can earn over $123,00. Unfortunately, there will be a reduction in the total number of positions, driven largely by automated underwriting software, despite a likely increase in demand for health insurance services. 

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Survey Researcher  Average salary: $54,270

Survey researchers are responsible for creating and implementing surveys, which means they not only need a creative, thoughtful mind, they also need a strong understanding of mathematical principles, which will help them analyze the data. This position generally requires a master’s degree, but a math major is one of the best starting points for this career field, which is one of the high paying jobs for math majors. The master’s degree should be a combination of research methods, statistics, and social sciences. 

Required Education: Master degree


Selling Your Math-Major Skills to Employers

What happens if you decide that you no longer want to work in math-related careers? What if, after completing your math degree, you no longer want to work in one of the best jobs for math majors? Are you stuck? Not at all. You simply need to learn how to sell your skills to employers outside of the mathematical realm. 

First of all, you should focus on how your skills can help an employer. For example, as a math major you learned how to solve advanced problems. You not only learned rigid mathematical concepts, you gained a flexible problem-solving mind that can help many employers. Be sure to emphasize that your math major doesn’t just allow you to regurgitate math equations, but allows you to create real solutions on the fly. 

If you can, emphasize a real example of how your math skills can help the employer. This will take some creativity, and will depend largely on the position, but there are many ways that your skills will help employers all across the country.

Continuing Education for Math Majors

Math is not complete. Like biology or chemistry, we are always learning more about this ancient discipline. This means that all math majors, regardless of the specific career, need to stay up to date on the latest advancements, which calls for continuing education all through your career. 

The highest-paying jobs for math majors, for example, will require extremely advanced education, which makes the path for continuing education obvious. A physicist, for example, needs to have a doctorate in physics to work in the career. 

But what if you work in one of the entry level jobs for math majors? You will still need continuing education to stay at the top of your field. A database administrator, for example, will need to study the latests software and understand how it can be used to benefit their clients or employers. An accountant will need to re-certify on a routine basis, which means they need to stay up-to-date on tax laws, accounting techniques, and mathematical principles behind money management. 

Continuing education for a math major can take the form of seminars, industry publications, or simple gatherings with colleagues. But it can also be formal classes that help you understand the latest in mathematics, allowing you to become one of the leaders in this interesting and unique field. 

Launch Your Career in Mathematics Today!

Whether you’ve already graduated from an undergraduate math degree or are still considering if math is the right career path for you, start here for reliable, unbiased information. 

Online Math Degrees

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