12 Well-Paying Jobs for Math Majors

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What’s Covered:

 

What do Indra Nooyi, Steve Ballmer, and Teri Hatcher? Aside from being famous for their work, they also majored in math (alongside other disciplines in some cases). 

 

Math is applicable to innumerable industries and professions, and for some people, the topics that seem complex to so many come naturally. If you major in math, what can the future hold for you?

 

What Skills Do Math Majors Learn?

 

Math majors study a wide range of topics and theories in the discipline, learning how to apply numbers and equations to their occupations and everyday life. Many college math programs have students choose a concentration like applied mathematics or pure mathematics. 

 

Specific subjects may include linear algebra, abstract algebra, calculus, statistics, number theory, probability, logic, differential geometry, modern algebra, differential equations, computation, vector analysis, and topology. They may also take courses in related areas, such as computer science, economics, and physics.

 

Math majors learn and hone skills such as:

 

  • Abstract thinking
  • Analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Reasoning

 

Because math skills are important for so many fields, this major will open up doors to numerous careers, from engineering to finance to economics.

 

Earning Potential for Math Majors

 

The average annual salary for math majors is $57,720, according to ZipRecruiter. The 25th percentile earns $35,500, and the 75th percentile earns $67,500. Earning potential varies significantly based on factors like expertise, highest level of education, location, and many other factors.

 

Top High-Paying Jobs for Math Majors

 

1. Cryptographer

Education Required: Master’s or Doctorate (though Bachelor’s may suffice)

Projected Growth: 31% 

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $145,356 ($159,500)

 

A cryptographer uses math and computer science to encrypt and decrypt data. They often work in financial and government agencies to protect sensitive information. Since hackers are constantly finding new ways to breach data security, cryptographers must think on their feet and continue to develop new ways to protect the data.

 

2. Actuary

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 18%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $122,402 ($134,000)

 

Math is central to the role of an actuary. In this fast-growing profession, you’ll leverage your skills to estimate the risk associated with different uncertain actions and events to inform individuals and businesses and help them make decisions.

 

3. Data scientist

Education Required:

Projected Growth: 3%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $119,413 ($138,500)

 

Combining skills in many areas — including math, perhaps the most pivotal — data scientists are playing an increasingly important role in organizations. Their job is to collect and interpret data, which organizations use to inform their decisions.

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Other Jobs for Math Majors

 

4. Investment banker

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 4% 

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $82,561 ($110,000)

 

Investment bankers help clients raise capital to reach their goals. They’ll need to have strong communication skills to facilitate these deals, but they’ll also need strong analytical skills as they run financial projections.

 

5. Business consultant

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 11% 

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $70,252 ($84,000)

 

Business consultants analyze a company’s practices and offer strategies for growth. Math majors would thrive in this career, as you’ll need to work heavily with data, and think critically to develop solutions to a company’s problems. 

 

6. Database administrator

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 10%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $86,833 ($104,000)

 

Along with math skills, database administrators (DBAs) must have strong technical knowledge to work with their clients to meet their needs by setting up and maintaining company databases, paying particular attention to security and privacy.

 

7. Financial analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 5%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $67,900 ($77,000)

 

Financial analysts work with clients, including both companies and individuals, to advise on them on making and managing investments. Math skills are important in all money matters, of course, and they will be central to a financial analyst’s role.

 

8. Market research analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 18%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $63,344 ($66,000)

 

When businesses are putting out new products, they want to know what consumers want. That’s where a market research analyst comes in. This professional collects and analyzes data on trends, competitors, and prospective consumer opinions, using methods like surveys and focus groups.

 

9. Math professor

Education Required: Doctorate (master’s will suffice in some cases)

Projected Growth: 1%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $64,767 ($76,054)

 

Some math majors choose to teach their knowledge to others. At the collegiate level, you’ll teach courses on math topics, as well as conduct research, depending on the type of institution and specific employer.

 

10. Mathematician/statistician

Education Required: Master’s degree or doctorate

Projected Growth: 33%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $100,479 ($127,500)

 

Mathematicians and statisticians use mathematical equations, algorithms, and formulae to solve problems in a variety of fields, from healthcare to technology to engineering. This is perhaps the most direct application of a math degree.

 

11. Software developer

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 22%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $86,523 ($100,000)

 

In this increasingly important and in-demand role, you’ll build the programs and software people use every day. Because software developers play such a pivotal role in society, your earning potential is very high.

 

12. Operations research analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 25%

Median Salary (bottom 25%/top 25%): $87,744 ($102,500)

 

As the name implies, an operations research analyst assists organizations with operations, helping them solve problems related to issues like cost, legal matters, and more. Strong math, analytical, and problem-solving skills will prove essential in this role.

 

What Colleges Are Best for Math Majors?

 

How do you find the best-fit colleges with top math majors? Using our school-search tool, you can filter colleges by many criteria, including major, to find the right schools for you. 

 

It’s important to have a balanced college list to maximize your chances of getting into a good fit school. A student should apply to 8-12 schools, with 25% being safety schools, 40% target schools, and 35% reach schools.

 

Your chances of acceptance are what make a school a safety, target, or reach. We’ve made it easy to figure out which schools fall into these categories with our free Admissions Chances Calculator. This tool will let you know your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile.

 

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Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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