Employment Prospects


Mathematicians hold approximately 2,580 jobs in the federal and state government, in colleges and universities, and in various private industries and business. In addition, some 51,250 mathematical science teachers are employed in postsecondary education settings across the country.

In government, the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are the main employers of mathematicians. Significant employers in industry include management and public relations, research and testing, aerospace, securities and commodities, and drug manufacturing companies. Other positions are held in such businesses as banks, insurance companies, securities and commodity exchanges, and public utilities.

Starting Out

Most college career services offices assist students in finding positions in business and industry upon graduation. Teaching positions in high schools are usually obtained by personal contacts through friends, relatives, or college professors or through college career services offices and by application and interviews. College and university assistantships, instructorships, and professorships often are obtained by departmental recommendations.

Positions in federal, state, and local governments are usually announced well in advance of the required civil service examination, and students can check for such notices on bulletin boards in their college career services offices or other locations, such as post offices and government buildings.

Advancement Prospects

Numerous opportunities for advancement to higher-level positions or into related areas of employment are available to mathematicians. Promotions of mathematicians are generally made on the basis of advanced preparation, knowledge of a specific application, individual appraisal by a superior, or competitive examination.

Opportunities in related fields, such as statistics, accounting, actuarial work, and computers, allow mathematicians to change their profession, relocate geographically, or advance to better positions with higher salaries.

Tips for Entry

Read publications such as the Journal of the American Mathematical Society ( and various publications by the Mathematical Association of America ( to learn more the field.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Join professional associations such as the American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Association for Women in Mathematics, to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.

Participate in the Association for Women in Mathematics’ Mentor Network, which "matches mentors, both men and women, with girls and women who are interested in mathematics or are pursuing careers in mathematics."

Participate in internships or part-time jobs that are arranged by your college’s career services office. Additionally, information on internships is available at these Web sites: and