Mathematics Teachers


Employment Prospects


Approximately 615,700 middle school teachers and nearly 1.1 million high school teachers, as well as 61,100 postsecondary mathematical science teachers, are employed in the United States. Math teachers are needed at middle schools and high schools, including parochial schools, juvenile detention centers, vocational schools, and technical schools. Some Montessori schools are also expanding to include more advanced courses. Though rural areas maintain some schools, most institutions are in towns and cities. Teachers can also find opportunities in "charter" schools, which are smaller, deregulated schools that receive public funding.

Starting Out

After completing the teacher certification process, including your months of student teaching, you should work with your college's career services office to find a full-time position. In some states, the departments of education maintain listings of job openings. In addition, many schools advertise teaching positions on their Web sites and in the classified sections of the state's major newspapers. You may also directly contact principals and superintendents of the schools in which you would like to work. While waiting for full-time work, you can work as a substitute teacher. Substituting will give you more than a paycheck; you will gain worthwhile teaching experience and learn about different school systems as a sub. In some school districts, you may be able to substitute full time.

Advancement Prospects

Most math teachers advance in the sense that they become more expert in the job that they have chosen. There is usually an increase in salary as teachers acquire years of experience. Additional training or study can also bring an increase in salary.

Teachers with administrative ability and an interest in administrative work may advance to the position of principal. Others work into supervisory positions or as assistants, helping teachers find appropriate instructional materials and develop certain phases of their courses of study. Teachers may decide to focus their careers more on education than on the subject they teach by moving into teacher education at a college or university. For most of these positions, a master's degree in education is required. Some teachers also make lateral moves into other education-related positions such as school counselor or resource room teacher.

Tips for Entry

To learn more about trends in your profession and the field of mathematics, read industry publications, such as:

  • Mathematics Teacher Education (available at https://www.nctm.org)
  • Math Horizons (https://www.maa.org)
  • American Teacher (https://www.aft.org/periodical/american-teacher)

Visit these Web sites for job listings:

  • https://teachers.net/jobs
  • https://www.mathclassifieds.org
  • https://www.indeed.com/q-Teacher-jobs.html

Join the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to access publications, continuing education and networking opportunities, and lesson plans and other resources.

Visit https://www.nctm.org/Publications/Mathematics-Teaching-in-Middle-School/Blog/Why-Teach-Mathematics_/ to read "Why Teach Mathematics?"