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Careers with Math: 13 Great Job Opportunities You Should Consider

Jun 21, 2023

At its core, math is about problem-solving, and students pursuing this major have many of the qualities, including analytical skills, that employers value. As you explore career pathways and learn about the most in-demand roles, you’ll discover that many of today’s industries favor a mathematically educated workforce. 

For instance, law and medical schools often view math major applicants as more qualified, especially if they’ve had a broad exposure to other subjects. Graduates with bachelor’s degrees in math are also hired by a variety of firms, from IT to communications, even though their respective job descriptions might not directly mention math.  

The most successful math majors are those who have also taken classes in disciplines like philosophy, economics, psychology, media, and the arts. This is because their well-rounded education can enrich nearly any career pathway. In this article, we’ll take a look at some math-based careers you may be interested in exploring, and provide an overview of key responsibilities and salary expectations for each. 

Why Pursue a Math Career?

Professionals who succeed in math-related careers typically utilize calculations, probability and statistics, and financial theories, in addition to clear communication skills, to assess risks and solve complex problems. 

Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in mathematics opens pathways for lucrative roles such as that of an economist, actuary, statistician, or even aerospace engineer. As a math major, you can expect an optimistic professional future with benefits such as: 

  • Job outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mathematicians is projected to grow by 31% from 2021 to 2031 and reflects a rate much faster than the average for all occupations. 
  • Developing analytical skills: Mathematics allows for quantitative thinking and analytic problem- solving that lead to skills with universal application. 
  • High salaries:  Mathematical knowledge is important in business and finance and can offer a pathway for professionals to earn high salaries in a range of roles in high-paying, fast-growing careers. 
  • Emotional satisfaction: The ability to use your math skills and contribute to humanity’s development by solving complex tasks can be gratifying.

Helpful Math Skills

Math majors have a wider array of options and a long track record of success in finding great jobs in diverse fields where they can apply their skills. Some of the strengths employers look for in job seekers with a background in math include: 

  • Quantitative reasoning, or the application of mathematical concepts and skills to solve real-world problems.
  • Numeracy skills, or the ability to recognize and apply math concepts in all areas of life.
  • Communication skills, or the ability to effectively and efficiently convey your thoughts and ideas to two or more people.
  • Problem-solving skills, or the ability to identify problems, brainstorm and analyze answers, and implement the best solutions.
  • Research skills, or the ability to source information and find answers to questions or solutions to problems. 
  • Analytical reasoning, or the ability to identify patterns within a group of facts or rules and use those patterns to determine outcomes. 
  • Critical thinking, or the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. 

Math-Based Careers

Careers involving math are diverse, and if you’re looking for dynamic opportunities in a range of industries, here are some examples to explore: 

 1. Mathematics Teacher 

Math teachers break down complex concepts into ones that are easier for students to grasp. They help students understand the connections between abstract concepts and real-world problems, building upon their existing knowledge to introduce more advanced math concepts. The average annual salary for math teachers in the U.S. is $52,485. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment outlook for all kindergarten, elementary, and middle school math teachers is expected to increase at an average rate of 7% from 2020 to 2030. 

2. Accountant

Accountants prepare and examine financial records, identify potential areas of opportunity and risk, and provide solutions for businesses and individuals. They ensure that financial records are accurate, that financial and data risks are evaluated, and that taxes are paid properly. The average annual salary for accountants in the U.S. is estimated to be $57,758, and employment for accountants is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, with about 136,400 new jobs on average each year. 

3. Budget Analyst 

A budget analyst helps organizations structure and allocate their financial resources. Analysts serve as an advocate for the financial success of an organization by evaluating proposals, recommending changes, redistributing funds, and preparing reports. The average annual salary for budget analysts is $79,940, according to the BLS, and is projected to grow by 3% from 2021 to 2031 at an average rate of about 4,000 new job openings each year. 

4. Meteorologist 

Meteorology is the science concerned with the Earth’s atmosphere and its physical processes. A meteorologist is a physical scientist who observes, studies, and forecasts the weather. The average salary for a meteorologist is $94,570, and employment for professionals in this field is expected to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031, or at the rate of 700 openings each year on average. 

5. Financial Planner

A financial planner is a professional who provides advice and guidance on financial decisions. Financial planners assist individuals and organizations to minimize their debt, maximize savings and investments, create cash flow budgets, set up retirement funds, and protect their income and assets. The median annual salary, according to the BLS, is $94,170. Employment for financial advisors is estimated to grow by 15% from 2021 to 2031, faster than average for all occupations with approximately 30,500 openings projected each year over the decade.  

6. Investment Analyst

Invest analysts collect information, perform research, and analyze assets, including stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities. Investment analysts will often focus on specific niches to become experts in their chosen fields. These niches can be a particular industry, a geographical region, or a specific asset class. The average salary for investment analysts in the U.S. is $97,438 and the BLS projects employment for investment analysts to grow by 9% from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average projected growth for all jobs. This amounts to about 32,000 new jobs by 2031. 

 7. Statistician

A statistician is a professional who collects and analyzes a company’s data and is familiar with all automated and manual data collection methods. Statisticians work to identify trends in data sets before offering those patterns to company executives who can tailor business operations accordingly. Statisticians earn an average annual salary of $95,570, according to the BLS, and employment for statisticians is projected to grow by 31% from 2021 to 2031, or at a rate of about 4,100 new job openings estimated each year, on average, over the decade. 

8. Actuary

An actuary uses a blend of math, data, and financial theories to assess the risk of future events and help clients develop policies in response. Overall, an actuary’s role is taking their understanding of numbers and turning it into actionable information for an organization. The median annual salary for actuaries in the U.S. is $105,900, according to the BLS, and employment for actuaries is projected to grow 21% from 2021 to 2031 at a faster rate than the average for all occupations. 2,400 openings for actuaries are projected each year, on average, through 2031. 

9. Data Scientist

Data scientists dig into big data with powerful technologies to gain information that helps companies meet their specific goals and needs. In data science, a complex problem is identified, and the evaluation of information is needed to solve it. The median average annual salary for data scientists is $100,910, according to the BLS, and 13,500 openings for professionals in this field are expected each year, on average, from 2021 to 2031. 

10. Physicist

The role of physicists involves planning and conducting scientific experiments and studies to test theories and discover the properties of matter and energy. Physicists may also study the nature of time and the origin of the universe. According to the BLS, the average annual salary for physicists is $152,430 and is projected to grow by 8%, at a rate of 2,100 openings each year, on average from 2021 to 2031. 

11. Software Test Engineer

Professionals employed as software test engineers are tasked with designing and implementing test procedures that ensure software programs work as intended. They are mostly hired by software development companies to ensure products perform to specifications before being released to the public. According to Glassdoor, software test engineers earn an average annual salary of $95,782, and overall employment for professionals in this area is projected to grow by 25% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Overall employment of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is projected to grow by 25% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

12. Inventory Control Specialist

An Inventory control specialist's responsibilities include overseeing inventory control, managing deliveries, inspecting inventory, maintaining inventory records, and ordering products. Professionals in this field generally work in a warehouse and track items, parts, and products for a company. In the U.S., inventory control specialists earn an average salary of $44,140. Employment of professionals in this role is expected to grow by 4% through 2026. 

 13. Cost Estimator 

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to assess the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry. Demand for cost estimators is expected to rise, with an estimated 11,600 new jobs filled by 2029, and the average annual salary for this role is $82,902 according to Indeed

How to Build a Career in Math

Careers in math generally require a degree in mathematics and can take students anywhere from four years to earn a bachelor’s to six years for a master’s and completing the traditional coursework in this discipline. If you’re interested in finding the best career path for you, an internship may also help determine the strongest fit by offering work experience and hands-on training. 

As you evaluate the career you can see yourself working in, consider your strengths and interests and how you can apply these to a math degree.  WGU offers three degree paths in math-related roles that prepare you for the dynamic and in-demand career you’ve been looking for. At WGU, our entirely online curriculum allows you to manage a flexible schedule and earn your degree around your work and home life. 

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