5 Highest Paying Math Jobs and Careers

The highest paying math jobs are rewarding careers that are also areas of high growth in mathematics and the labor force. It’s necessary to consider options for lucrative careers in mathematics when considering pursuing a degree in this field. Let’s discuss five different career paths that feature mathematics expertise as a central focus of the job.

Where Can You Work with a Math Degree?

Many careers use math skills to solve problems. So, a math degree can lead to a variety of career options. Some high paying jobs and career paths include mathematician, actuary, statistician, data analyst, financial analyst, software developer, and mathematics professor. Below are five interesting math careers for math majors that pay well and are high-growth careers.

  1. Data Scientist
  2. Mathematician or Statistician
  3. Operations Research Analyst
  4. Actuary
  5. University Mathematics Professor

1. Data Scientist

Data scientists fuse their mathematics, statistics, machine learning, and also computer programming knowledge. Then use this combined knowledge to unravel the mysteries entrenched in data. Information is only valuable to organizations if they understand how to use it purposefully. A data scientist can be the key to translating mountains of data into new insights. Their analysis can improve an organization’s operating processes, strengthen performance and efficiency, and also maximize productivity. Additionally, these professionals often know about data security and data ethics.

Because data science is a multi-disciplinary career, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics will limit career opportunities. At the very least, one will need some coursework in computer science. So, many professionals study other topics like machine learning and Python programming at the undergraduate level to succeed in this career path. When applying for jobs in this field, many competing applicants will hold a master’s degree.

How much can you earn as a Data Scientist?

Snagging one of these jobs analyzing data tends to be quite lucrative. The BLS reports the average salary for a data scientist is $100,910, but the range is from $59,430 to $167,040.

2. Mathematician or Statistician

Mathematicians can work for governments, engineering firms, healthcare facilities, universities, or other organizations. They typically apply their analytical expertise to create rules, formulas, or theories to help their employers make better business decisions. So, it’s worth considering a career as a mathematician if continuing with graduate school after achieving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

A statistician’s job is similar to a mathematician’s, but the jobs have subtle differences. The statistician’s job tends to involve implementing strategies for extracting meaningful data that can be used to benefit a business or organization. Such strategies could include creating polls and surveys designed to extract relevant statistics from the subjects who are being surveyed.

How much can you earn as a Mathematician?

This career path typically requires a master’s degree in either mathematics or statistics. Some mathematician jobs may require a doctoral degree. This is another one of the more lucrative possibilities for careers in mathematics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay for mathematicians is $108,100.

How much can you earn as a Statistician?

Another critical difference is that the pay for statisticians tends to be less than for mathematicians. The median annual salary for a statistician is $95,570 (BLS). This job also requires a significant investment in education. A bachelor’s degree is the bare minimum academic requirement. Many employers expect that qualified candidates for statistician jobs will have obtained a graduate degree.

3. Operations Research Analysts

An Operations Research Analyst is responsible for analyzing and helping to solve complex organizational problems. They use various mathematical methods, such as linear programming, network optimization, decision analysis, and statistical analysis, to identify and recommend the best solutions for the organization. They also use data-driven insights to develop strategies to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profits. These professionals may also be involved in forecasting, scheduling, and risk management.

How much can you earn as an Operations Research Analyst?

The salary for an Operations Research Analyst varies depending on experience, location, and employer. The BLS reports the average annual salary for an Operations Research Analyst is $82,360 (BLS). However, the range is from $48,690 to $160,850. According to PayScale, the average salary for an Operations Research Analyst is $76,632 per year in the United States. The highest wages reported are over $127,000 per year.

4. Actuary

Actuaries are influential in the insurance industry. They analyze data, apply mathematics, probability, and financial theory principles to help their employers determine how to best protect themselves against various possible risk factors. Becoming an actuary typically involves completing a series of complex examinations. Continuing education is likely to be a requirement in this line of work.

An actuarial science professional may work for an insurance company, one of many government agencies, an insurance underwriter, or other risk management organizations in the private sector.

How much can you earn as an Actuary?

The BLS reports the average annual salary of actuaries is around $105,900. Additionally, it expects the employment of actuaries to grow 21 percent from 2021 to 2031.

5. University Mathematics Professor

University mathematics professors teach and inspire the next generation of mathematics students. They typically teach advanced mathematical techniques and mathematical theory. Additionally, math professors assess student learning and class performance and award suitable grades based on their determinations.

University professors must also conduct academic research and publish their findings in noteworthy scholarly journals. A college professor typically participates in academic committees and other department obligations. This mathematics career requires a high level of education or an advanced degree.

How much can you earn as a Math Professor?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), University mathematics professors earn a median annual salary of $79,640.

Masters in Mathematics Jobs and Career Outlook

What are the Different Types of Math Degrees?

What is a math degree called? Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in mathematics or statistics. At the graduate level, schools commonly offer an MS and PhD in theoretical or applied mathematics. Additionally, there are certificates for undergrads as well as for graduate students.

Undergraduate Degrees

A bachelor’s degree takes most students four years to complete and is typically 120 credits.

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Statistics

Undergraduate Certificates

  • Certificate in Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Statistics
  • Financial Mathematics

Graduate Degrees

Most students complete a master’s degree in two years. However, the length of doctoral programs varies depending on the university.

  • Master of Science in Mathematics
  • Master of Arts in Mathematics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics
  • Doctor of Science in Mathematics

Graduate Certificates

  • Graduate Certificate in Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Graduate Certificate in Statistics
  • Financial Mathematics

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What Skills Do You Need for a Math Career?

Math professionals use arithmetic math skills and advanced mathematic techniques to make calculations, analyze data, and solve problems. Below are some skills a math major needs for the highest paying jobs in mathematics.

  • Strong mathematical knowledge, including calculus, algebra, geometry, statistics, and mathematical theories.
  • Critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and analytical skills.
  • Attention to detail with excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to communicate complex mathematical concepts.
  • Computer programming and software development experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Curiosity and research skills.
  • Ability to think creatively and innovatively.

Why Earn a Math Degree?

Why do students pursue math as an academic focus? To start, math majors have an excellent job outlook. The BLS expects overall employment in math occupations to grow much faster than other occupations. It expects a 29 percent increase in jobs from 2021 to 2031 resulting in around 82,000 new jobs. Additionally, workers leaving the profession to retire or change careers make up an additional 30,000 job openings each year.

In addition to the high job growth, mathematics professionals have some of the highest paying jobs. The BLS reports the median annual wage for this career group is $98,680 (BLS). This is an excellent salary compared to the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760!

How to Start Your Math Career?

After you earn an undergraduate degree, you can start to refine your career goals. Below are some steps to help advance your math career.

Earn an Advanced Degree

If you are serious about a mathematics career, you should consider earning an advanced degree in the subject. Master’s degrees and doctorates are the most common qualifications for mathematics-based professions, and they open the door to many opportunities.

Pursue Certification

Depending on the type of mathematics you plan to practice, you may need to pursue certification or licensure. You may need to take additional classes, pass an exam, or meet certain requirements before being certified or licensed.

Explore Different Job Opportunities

Mathematics is a broad field that offers a variety of job options. Research different job opportunities in the field, such as teaching, consulting, or research. Look into each role’s education and experience requirements and determine which fits your interests and skills best.

Make Connections

Networking is a vital part of getting a job in mathematics, so take the time to build relationships with professionals in the field. Attend conferences or seminars, join professional organizations, and contact people you know.

Develop a Resume

Once you have identified your desired career path, create a resume highlighting your educational background and relevant experience.

Other Careers in Mathematics

Typical jobs for math majors include financial analyst, software developer, statistician, data scientist, actuary, and mathematics professor. Other possible job options include computer science, engineering, finance, economics, operations research, business analysis, market research, or education. There are many math careers available to graduates. Below are some additional careers for math majors.

Investment Analyst or Financial Analyst

As part of an employer’s financial team, these professionals help inform financial decisions. Investment analysts use statistical techniques to analyze past market data, financial reports, economic data, and current financial data. Then, they develop financial models for an investment company, bank, or other financial institution. Financial Analysts study financial statements, economic trends, and historical data to identify promising investments.

Aerospace Engineers

An aerospace engineer designs airplanes, helicopters, and missiles for air travel, cargo shipping, military purposes, and emergency services. These Aerospace Engineering professionals also assess each aircraft project’s goals, drawing manufacturing blueprints, creating prototypes, and making improvements during manufacturing. Most aerospace engineers work for government agencies or private companies.


Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services. They use mathematical techniques to collect research trends and evaluate economic issues. Then they use this information to find solutions to real world problems.

Mechanical Engineer

Some mechanical engineers design mechanical devices and machines. They study problems and defects useing computer-aided design (CAD) software, mathematical models, and advanced engineering mathematics. Then, they test hypothetical solutions, develop prototypes, and oversee design revisions.

Robotics Engineers

A robotics engineer designs, creates, and tests machines to replicate human activity. Depending on the industry, they may build prototypes and oversee the development of robots that handle dangerous, repetitive, unhealthy, or costly tasks for humans.

Are Mathematicians in Demand?

Yes, mathematicians are in demand in a variety of fields. Mathematicians are needed in industries such as finance, engineering, computer science, and medicine, as well as in research and teaching. Furthermore, the BLS predicts employment growth of 33 percent for mathematicians between 2021 and 2031, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.