How to Become A Math Teacher
Math Teacher Careers & Degrees

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If you’re great with math, like to work with kids, and think that you would enjoy working in an educational setting then you might like to become a math teacher.

A math teacher teaches numeracy to students from the start of their schooling all the way up to their graduation.

While math is an important subject, it’s also one that many students struggle with.

As a math teacher, you have an opportunity to help your students gain these essential skills and really be their best.

While this role is challenging, it can also be very rewarding.

To become a math teacher, you’ll need to be a strong communicator, and also have a strong grasp of mathematics yourself.

You’ll need to be an approachable person that your students feel they can relate to, but also one that they will respect.

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Education Requirements to Become a Math Teacher

You will need to complete a college degree to become a math teacher.

A four year mathematics degree is an ideal qualification for this role.

When you reach your sophomore year you will be able to elect an education specialization.

This will include teaching methodology and also a supervised practice component.

In most states, you are also able to complete a bridging program if you already have a degree in math, but do not have the necessary educational component.

These courses consist of just teaching methods and practice, and allow you to become a licensed teacher.

To become a math teacher in a public school you are required to be licensed.

To do this you must complete the necessary coursework, as well as an examination in literacy and numeracy skills.

In some places you will need to eventually complete a masters degree in education.

Private schools each set their own requirements in regard to teacher training.

to find out the exact requirements for licensure and accreditation in your state, refer to the NCATE website.

Math Teacher Job Description

When you become a math teacher you will divide you time between classroom teaching, marking work, administrative duties, and staff meetings.

You may also spend time working closely with students who need help, preparing lesson plans, or keeping in contact with parents.

Here are some of the duties of a math teacher:

  • Planning lessons
  • Classroom teaching
  • Helping individual students
  • Grading papers and assignments
  • Disciplining students who require it
  • Writing report cards
  • Attending staff meetings
  • Communicating with parents
  • Communicating with other teaching staff

Math Teacher Salary and Career Path

When you become a math teacher, you can expect to achieve a starting salary of about $35,000 a year.

The median salary range for a teacher is $47,000 to $51,000 which is closer to what you might be paid after a few years of working in the field.

The highest paid teachers earn over $75,000 a year.

These teachers could be heads of departments, or in supervisory positions such as that of school principal.

Teachers in private schools typically get paid a lower salary than that of public school teachers and they often have access to greater benefits.

As a math teacher you may later move on to other roles within education.

You could become head of mathematics at a school, a leading teacher, or a school principal.

Some teachers earn additional money by coaching school sports, or supervising other activities.

Some jobs that are similar to math teacher that might interest you include:

  • Elementary teacher
  • High school teacher
  • College professor
  • Teacher assistant
  • Librarian
  • Education administrator
  • Mathematician

When you become a math teacher, you are qualified for a role that offers secure employment as well as the possibility for advancement.

Working in an educational setting and helping children can also prove to be very rewarding.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$86,330
$38K
$53K
$86K
$106K
$154K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$69,940
Arizona$79,090
Arkansas$59,510
California$126,550
Colorado$75,590
Connecticut$80,300
Delaware$79,140
District of Columbia$109,910
Florida$86,010
Georgia$71,870
Hawaii$72,910
Idaho$92,920
Illinois$66,480
Indiana$76,890
Iowa$80,270
Kansas$73,250
Kentucky$67,740
Louisiana$67,750
Maine$64,850
Maryland$91,920
Massachusetts$90,670
Michigan$86,390
Minnesota$83,170
Mississippi$61,130
Missouri$91,190
Montana$66,440
Nebraska$75,740
Nevada$66,910
New Hampshire$82,780
New Jersey- NA -
New Mexico$58,640
New York$111,060
North Carolina$76,010
North Dakota$78,350
Ohio$85,000
Oklahoma$61,100
Oregon$93,540
Pennsylvania$90,450
Rhode Island$114,660
South Carolina$71,490
South Dakota$73,250
Tennessee$60,100
Texas$69,120
Utah$88,490
Vermont$86,910
Virginia$70,540
Washington$76,840
West Virginia$48,550
Wisconsin$80,540
Wyoming$64,790
Puerto Rico$62,440

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $126,550.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

California - $126,550
Rhode Island - $114,660
New York - $111,060
District of Columbia - $109,910
Oregon - $93,540
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary, OCC Code 25-1022, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a math teacher do?

A math teacher can work in an elementary, middle or high school.

They are specialists that teach mathematics to students and the main aim of a math teacher is to ensure that the students gain an understanding of mathematic concepts and develop critical-thinking abilities.

The teachers might also be helping the students prepare for their tests or college entrance exams.

Some professionals work not only with children but also with adults.

The typical responsibilities of a math teacher usually include creating lesson plans; assigning and correcting homework; instructing students and managing them in the classroom; communicating with parents, and so on.

The duties will differ depending on the grade of students that the math teacher works with; for example, the teacher can help the students master the basic skills in elementary school and then prepare the youngsters from high school for graduation.

QuestionHow much do math teachers make?

On average, a math teacher can make a little more than $60.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $39.700 and $97.500 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the school you work for, the location and so on.

Secondary school teachers typically earn more than elementary school teachers.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a math teacher?

You would certainly need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or education in order to become a math teacher.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

To improve job perspectives, you can go for a master’s degree (over $30.000).

You must be certified to be able to teach in schools; the cost of teacher certification can vary from state to state, so be prepared to pay anywhere between $40 and $200.

QuestionWhat is the demand for math teachers?

Between 2018 and 2028, the elementary math teacher job market is expected to grow by 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The job market for high school teachers will grow by 4%.

That is slower than the national average for all occupations in the United States.

The career will be providing moderate employment opportunities in the near future; however, math teachers have better job prospects than the others.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a math teacher?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years to earn a master’s degree.

To become a certified teacher, you would need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved teacher education program, pass a background check and knowledge and skills tests.

The initial certificate is valid for 5 years; you would have to complete a certain number of professional development hours every five years to maintain the certification.

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