What to Do With a Degree in Math

Alternative Careers

Teacher Helping Student with Math Problem
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Do you love working with numbers? Are you passionate about logarithms, matrices, and exponential equations? If so, getting a math degree may be on your mind, but perhaps you are worried about finding a job that will utilize your college education. Here are 10 careers that are perfect for people who have earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics.

Mathematician

Becoming a mathematician is the most obvious choice for someone who has studied math, but certainly not the only one. Most mathematician jobs require a graduate degree, for example, a master's or doctorate, but if you want to work for the federal government, only a bachelor's degree is required. Jobs in this occupation involve creating mathematical models to solve practical problems in fields such as business, engineering, and science.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $103,010

Number of People Employed (2016): 3,100

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 30 percent (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 900

Actuary

Actuaries use statistical analysis to figure out the probability of the occurrence of certain events to minimize the risks associated with them. The tools of the trade are database and modeling software. Actuaries primarily work in the insurance industry where they design policies and set premiums. Others work in the financial services industry. There are several choices regarding the degree needed to work as an actuary. A bachelor's degree in math is one of your options.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $101,560

Number of People Employed (2016): 23,600

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 22 percent (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 5,300

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts create surveys that help companies decide what products consumers will buy and ways to promote them. They train interviewers to conduct these surveys, and after all the data is collected, they use statistical methods to analyze it. Finally, market research analysts share their findings with their employers by preparing written reports in which they also graphically illustrate the results of the surveys. You need a bachelor's degree, which could be in math, to work in this occupation.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $63,230

Number of People Employed (2016): 595,400

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 23 percent (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 138,300

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers, like market research analysts, design surveys. Their goal is to gather information about the public, including factual data, opinions, and beliefs. They usually work for political candidates, government agencies, and corporations. They use statistical techniques and software to analyze the data they collect. You need a bachelor's degree to work in this occupation, but there is a bit of flexibility when it comes to choosing a major. Many employers will hire job candidates who have earned a degree in math.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $54,270

Number of People Employed (2016): 14,600

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 2 percent (slower than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 400

Middle or High School Teacher

It is a teacher's job to help their students learn concepts in a variety of subjects. Middle and high school teachers specialize in a single subject such as mathematics, English and language arts, social studies, a world language, or visual or performing arts. In addition to earning a degree in education, you will also need an additional degree in the subject area in which you want to specialize.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $57,720 (Middle School); $59,170 (High School)

Number of People Employed (2016): 630,300 (Middle School); Over One Million (High School)

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 8 percent (Both Middle and High School - about as fast a the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 47,300 (Middle School); 76,800 (High School)

Cost Estimator

Cost estimators calculate the costs of completing construction or manufacturing projects. They take into account expenses that include labor, raw materials, and equipment. This occupation does not have specific educational requirements but earning a bachelor's degree can make you a more competitive job candidate. Since cost estimators need strong mathematical skills, earning a degree in this subject should serve you well.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $63,110

Number of People Employed (2016): 217,900

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 11 percent (faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 22,900

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors help people plan for their long and short-term financial goals. These may include saving for retirement and children's college tuition. They also advise their clients on investments, taxes, and insurance. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to work in this field. Math is an appropriate choice since financial advisors need strong skills in this area.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $90,640

Number of People Employed (2016): 271,900

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 15 percent (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 40,400

Real Estate Appraiser

Real estate appraisers estimate the value of residential and commercial property before the owner sells or develops it or gets a mortgage. An appraisal is also needed when calculating property taxes. Because real estate appraisers work with numbers, it is beneficial, though not required, to major in math if you want to become one. Real estate appraisers have bachelor's degrees in other areas of study as well.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $54,010

Number of People Employed (2016): 80,800

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 14 percent (faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 11,700

Statistician

Statisticians collect data that allow entities, including governments, colleges, and corporations, to answer questions about the public. Using mathematical techniques, they decide what methods to employ and how to overcome any problems they may encounter. They design surveys, experiments, and polls and then analyze the collected data. A master's degree, which can be in math, statistics, or survey methodology, is required for most jobs. You can enter a graduate program after earning a bachelor's degree in any major that provides a solid background in math.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $84,060

Number of People Employed (2016): 37,200

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 34 percent (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 12,600

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts help companies and organizations solve problems and make decisions using their expertise in mathematics. After identifying problems, they gather data and analyze it. Then based on this information, they develop solutions and choose the one they think will have the best results.

Median Annual Salary (2017): $81,390

Number of People Employed (2016): 114,000

Projected Job Growth (2016-2026): 27 percent (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Projected Job Openings (2016-2026): 31,300

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,  Occupational Outlook Handbook; Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor,  O*NET Online (visited December 13, 2018).