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CAREER GUIDE Master of Arts, Math Education

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Career guide: math teacher.

You already know that you love being a teacher, but do you consider yourself logical, analytical, and intellectually curious? Are you challenged and enthused by numbers, statistics, and everyday problem solving? If so, a career in teaching mathematics may be perfect for you.

Society will always have a need for educators — math and science teachers in particular. As economic conditions change, and hiring and budgets fluctuate, the need for great teachers remains. When you choose a career as a mathematics teacher, you'll never have to wonder if your purpose is worthy.

With the right courses in mathematics education, you will become a skilled math teacher with high-level instruction and research abilities. A Master of Arts in Mathematics Education will provide you with the specialized knowledge needed to effectively teach elementary, middle school, or high school math.

Get ready to prepare America's future leaders in the fields of science, technology, and engineering!

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

The Master of Arts in Mathematics Education will give you the qualifications necessary for a successful career as an elementary, middle school, or math teacher. Though most educators start their career in the classroom, some teachers pursue an advanced degree so they can move into other educational roles. Your specialized training in the field will prepare you for other positions like:

Positions in the field.

  • Curriculum developer
  • School counselor
  • Math tutor
  • School administrator
  • Subject area specialist
  • Testing director
“What I got during my education at WGU was so current and I could actually transfer it right away into what I was teaching. It wasn’t like I had to wait until my education was over so I could start applying it.” Elizabeth Pendas
M.A. Mathematics Education

Job market forecast.

The market for mathematics teachers with master's degrees is robust as more teachers retire and schools have difficulty finding qualified educators.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2016 to 2026, employment of primary, middle, and high school teachers will grow about 8 percent, which is near the average for all occupations.

There is substantial variation in job prospects depending on region of the country and school setting. Opportunities are likely to be better in the South and West where rapid enrollment growth is expected. Job forecasts for teachers in general are also better in urban and rural school districts.

The U.S. Department of Education, in Foundations for Success: The Final Report for National Mathematics Advisory Panel advises an increase in math curriculum for elementary kids. The report notes that improving K–12 mathematics education is a national interest and recommends adding "math specialist teachers" to primary schools. Teachers in this specialist role would serve as full-time educators in the classroom, or math coaches for K–12 teachers. This unique position will require specialized knowledge, and a degree in mathematics education can help you prepare for that type of leadership role.

If you're an already-practicing teacher with a bachelor's degree, and you take the courses necessary to become a highly qualified math teacher, you will be well positioned for a prosperous career almost anywhere in the United States.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

There's a shortage of skilled mathematics teachers at schools all over the country. Once equipped with the right degree, professionals can choose if they want to teach in an elementary, middle, or high school. There are jobs available in public and private schools.

The school environment will vary depending on locale, classroom size, and number of school administrators and other staff.

It's up to you, as the teacher, to create a classroom environment that includes group collaboration, engaging activities, and lively dialogue.

Many teachers work with children who have special needs, or are academically or behaviorally at risk.

You will work during school hours — which can vary — but most teachers also work occasional evenings and weekends grading papers and preparing lesson plans. In a traditional school environment, teachers do not work during the summer, but year-round programs are becoming more common and have several shorter breaks built-in throughout the year.

If you choose to become a tutor, mathematics curriculum director, or school advisor, you'll likely spend some time in an office in addition to, or instead of, the classroom.

Professional organizations.

If you decide to advance your teaching career by earning a Master's in Mathematics Education, the right degree will help you get where you need to be, and the following resources will provide further information about the industry in the meantime.

Job search resources.

Ready to start searching for the right career in mathematics education? These sites will provide direction.


Salary stats.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers earned a median annual salary of $58,030 in May 2016, while middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $56,720.

Another stat worth noting is those with a master's degree earn an average of $3,000 more annually compared to those with a bachelor's only. Earning an advanced degree in education places you higher on the pay scale rubric, meaning you will earn more over time.

Experience is another significant factor in determining a math teacher's salary; the longer you've worked as a teacher, the more you'll make.

As with any career, the region and state in which you work — along with budget available in a particular school district — will affect potential earnings.

See learn.org for useful salary breakdowns by school type, location, and experience.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Summary.

The Master's in Mathematics Education degree is designed to equip you with skills that will make you a better teacher— assisting you in reaching your goal of advancing your career. The demand for teaching professionals who possess master's degrees is high as schools search for skilled, experienced educators to help raise students' academic achievement levels.

Did you know that one quarter of practicing math teachers do not possess math degrees? That's according to a survey released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It's startling information, but it puts you — a soon-to-be highly qualified math teacher — in a good position to pursue a secure, esteemed career as a math teacher.

There are plenty of teaching opportunities in schools all over the United States, whether you decide to teach elementary (K–6), middle school (5–9), or high school (5–12). When you're deciding on a master's program, look for one whose curriculum is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards.

Next Start Date

Jul 1

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Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in teaching math? The next step could be earning your M.A. in Mathematics Education. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult’s schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!