Master’s in Math Education Career Guide
What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Math Education Program?
Math teachers at all levels of education — elementary, secondary and
postsecondary — are usually in high demand. This often results in higher
salaries, and many have an easier time finding jobs compared to
teachers in other fields. Schools throughout the United States continue
to emphasize the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering
and math) fields to students’ education, so as a result, qualified math
teachers are likely to continue to be in high demand.
When you’re taking classes toward earning your master’s in math
education, you can expect to receive the same level of high-quality
instruction as you would in a traditional on-campus experience. Online
master’s degrees are also presented in a more convenient format, so
students can take classes at their own pace.
When searching for online master’s degree programs in math education,
be sure to find one that aligns with your long-term career goals and is
a good fit for you.
Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Math Education
Specific classes you take and the topics covered are going to vary by
program and institution. For instance, some programs may focus heavily
on mathematical theory while others might spend more time on developing
teaching skills. Some common courses you can expect to take include:
|Learning and Teaching Algebra||Students enrolled in this course can gain a foundation for teaching and learning algebraic concepts. It also may include an overview of teaching methods, lesson planning and technology in the context of algebra.|
|Theories of Teaching and Learning||This course typically provides an overview of current research about theories of teaching and learning and historical perspectives. Usually, psychological, biological and cultural theories of learning are discussed and applied to real-world teaching environments.|
|Student Teaching Internship||A teaching internship is typically required in master’s-level education programs to gain real-world classroom experience. Student teachers are placed at a nearby school — and in online programs, it’s usually a school close to your geographical location — where they are supervised by a working teacher.|
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s Degree in Math Education?
The time it takes to complete an online master’s degree program in
math education varies according to the specific program, institution and
whether you choose to take classes on a full- or part-time basis. On
average, it takes about two years to complete an online master’s program
in math education.
Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Math Education Prepares For
Requirements for acquiring an educational license vary widely by
state. In general, you need a teaching license to teach in the K-12
school environment. Paths to licensure and certification vary by state,
so be sure to check with your state board of education to find out
specific requirements. At the postsecondary level, however, a license is
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Math Education
When you’re searching for an online master’s degree in math
education, it’s important to find accredited programs. Accreditation is a
voluntary process schools engage in with certain organizations to prove
they meet certain educational standards. By choosing an accredited
school, you can make sure you’re receiving a high-quality education.
National and regional accreditation is available. National
accreditation agencies award accreditation to schools throughout the
country, and regional accreditation agencies focus on specific regions
of the United States.
For an online master’s in math education, you should see if the program you’re considering is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP),
which is the main accrediting organization for teacher education. CAEP
provides accreditation for programs that prepare teachers at all levels,
from preschool to grade 12.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Math Education Graduates
Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s
While a bachelor’s degree can sometimes help you obtain entry-level
positions in teaching, such as an assistant teaching position, a
master’s degree opens up additional job opportunities and increases your
earning potential. Graduates of master’s degree programs in math
education are qualified for a variety of career paths, primarily in the
K-12 grades to the community college level.
Most of the time, those who earn a master’s degree in math education are qualified to teach at the high school or postsecondary level. Most middle school and elementary school positions require a more general degree in elementary education or middle school education, which provides a more general overview of multiple subject areas and not just mathematics. Below are some common occupations for those with a master’s in math education and median annual salaries for each.
Many other factors affect salary, including the specific industry or place of employment, such as a college, university or professional school and geographical location. Below is the list of the top-paying states in the United States for postsecondary mathematical science teachers, the majority of which are in the Northeast. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies these types of math teachers as those who “teach college-level courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations.” This group includes those who primarily teach and those who work doing a combination of teaching and research.
To be successful in the math education field, it helps to be
naturally skilled with numbers, have an analytical mind and enjoy being
around young people while helping them grow. Most of the time, those who
obtain a master’s degree in math education are qualified to teach at
the high school or postsecondary level. Below are some common career
options with salary and growth information for each. Note that 7 percent
is considered by the BLS to be average growth, so anything above that
number is faster than average.
|JOB TITLE||JOB DESCRIPTION||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|Postsecondary Teachers||These teachers instruct students at public and private colleges and universities, professional schools and junior or community colleges. With a master’s degree in math education, you may be qualified to teach different math classes at these levels. Postsecondary teachers also sometimes publish scholarly research papers and books along with their teaching responsibilities.||$76,000 per year||15%|
|High School Teachers||High school teachers usually teach specific subjects, such as math, science, history or English, and they help prepare their students for life after graduation, whether that’s a college education or the job market. High school teachers can work in either public or private schools.||$59,170 per year||8%|
Membership in professional organizations for math education benefits
both current students enrolled in master’s programs and recent
graduates. Professional organizations in this field provide networking
opportunities, continuing education classes, annual conferences, career
services and often have active job boards. Students and recent graduates
of master’s programs in math education often qualify for discounted
membership rates. Three of the most popular professional organizations
in math education are listed below.
Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE):
This is the largest organization in the United States dedicated to
improving math teacher education. AMTE supports continuing education
efforts of math teachers from preschool to the college level.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM):
The NCTM supports math teachers through professional development
opportunities, research and leadership. Many math curriculum programs
used in schools are based on well-established NCTM standards.
Mathematical Association of America (MAA):
This organization focuses its efforts on making math accessible to
undergraduate students. Its members include many high school and college
Financing Your Online Master’s in Math Education
Earning an online master’s degree is typically cheaper than earning
that same degree in traditional on-campus study. Expenses associated
with travel, for instance, are eliminated when participating in a
distance learning program. Despite it costing less overall, many
students still need financial aid to help them pay for the cost of their
It can be confusing to navigate all of the different financial aid
options available, but a good place to start is with the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Filling it out and
submitting it provides you with information about grants, scholarships,
loans and other forms of financial aid available to you through the
Many nonprofit organizations, private companies and even individual
schools offer their own scholarships and grants. Be sure to investigate
the programs you’re interested in to find out whether you qualify to
apply for any scholarships.
|Financial Aid for Graduate Students|
|Knowing Your Options|
|Federal Financial Aid for Teachers|
Eligibility: The TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) grant provides up to $4,000 annually to recipients who are enrolled in graduate teaching programs in exchange for a four-year commitment to teach at a low-income school.
Eligibility: Students who are actively pursuing a graduate degree and/or credential or licensure for the purpose of teaching in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering or math) upon graduation at a U.S. school in grades K-12.
Eligibility: Students must hold a 3.5 GPA and be age 18 years or older. Application is open to experienced teachers continuing their education or aspiring teachers just beginning the process.