Career One

What they do

Expand knowledge in mathematical areas, such as algebra or geometry, by developing new rules, theories, and concepts

Use mathematical formulas and models to prove or disprove theories

Apply mathematical theories and techniques to solve practical problems in business, engineering, the sciences, or other fields

Develop mathematical or statistical models to analyze data

Read professional journals, talk with other mathematicians, and attend professional conferences to maintain knowledge of current trends

Applied mathematicians, theoretical mathematicians. Others work in Academia.

Work environment

Mathematicians mostly work in offices with engineers, scientists, and other professionals. 30 percent employed by federal government.

How to become one

Need either a master’s degree or a doctorate. For jobs with the government, candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or significant coursework in mathematics. Candidates who have a double major in mathematics and a related discipline are particularly desirable to many employers.

Students who are interested in becoming mathematicians should take as many math courses as possible in high school.


2012 Median Pay-$101,360 per year, $48.73 per hour

Job Outlook

Employment of mathematicians is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 800 new jobs over the 10-year period.

Similar Occupations

Computer programmers, physicists, statisticians, and more.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Mathematicians,
on the Internet at (visited February 09, 2015).

Images used from AP Images.