Math-related careers – do they earn well?

Careers requiring math earn well. Mathematicians median annual income was pegged at $94,160.
5 of the 6 “Best Jobs” in terms of low stress, high compensation, autonomy, and hiring demand in the “Job Related Almanac” by Les Krantz are all math related.

Do math-related careers earn well? Are these facts enough for a parent and student to ignite that spark of long term commitment for learning? Of the extra effort to pursue a long term program of “deliberate practice” ?

“Deliberate Practice” – whether in sports, music or mathematics studies – is difficult, frustrating, fearful, HARD.  To be effective such a practice pushes the student to failure, to recovery from failure and then to “deep” learning because of it.

Will then parents, teachers, tutors and students all persist in supporting the needed depth of math study for these careers?

Only parents can decide this with their children. Teachers and tutors are able to advise on the proper learning path – in-school and after-school. Some careers do require advanced math – and this requires first mastery of more elementary math.

According to the Wall Street Journal:
Mathematician is considered the Best Job of All Jobs.

Mathematicians’ median annual income was pegged at $94,160.
The top 3 jobs on the list were:

1. Mathematician
2. Actuary
3. Statistician

5 of the 6 “Best Jobs” in terms of low stress, high compensation, autonomy, and hiring demand in the “Job Related Almanac” by Les Krantz are all math related.

Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs Nov 2009


“Math majors don’t always get much respect on college campuses, but fat post-grad wallets should be enough to give them a boost.

The top 15 highest-earning college degrees all have one thing in common — math skills. That’s according to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college graduates’ job offers is at the crux of who gets paid,” said Ed Koc, director of research at NACE. “If you have those skills, you are an extremely valuable asset. We don’t generate enough people like that in this country.”           (


The following is a list of careers that use math and their respective high-end salaries. You can click on any career title and learn what education is needed and what math will be used.  There are testimonials from career professionals as to how important math was to them.

We know how important math is in engineering and science – but is it also important in law?  Here is an excerpt from this resource:


Low-end Salary
Median Salary:


High-end Salary:



Formal requirements to become a attorney usually include a 4-year college degree in a field such as mathematics, 3 years of law school, and passing a written bar examination. Competition for admission to most law schools is intense. Math and Physics majors outscore all other majors on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). (Michael Nieswiadomy, “LSAT Scores of Economics Majors: The 2003-2004 Class Update”, Journal of Economic Education, pp. 244-247)
Do you love mathematics, but want to pursue a career as a lawyer?
“Professional graduate schools in business, law, and medicine think mathematics is a great major because it develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem solving environment. And results on admission tests for graduate and professional schools show that students majoring in mathematics receive substantially higher scores than most other majors.”
William Allard & Clark Bray Duke University, Mathematics Department

Math Required:     [Note that this is in college.]

College Algebra
Calculus I and II
Finite Mathematics

When Math Is Used: 

Attorneys use mathematical skills such as problem solving and logic in their everyday business activities. Much like a math problem, attorneys in court need to illustrate step-by-step their knowledge of the case.”    Some attorneys even specialize in LSAT math tutoring to help prepare students for law school admission.

See the 2013 update to the Best Careers today.


The important thing to take away from these career descriptions is that the study of mathematics is important in many technical fields.  It is also important in many non-technical career fields because the world is more complex and data-driven PLUS the study of mathematics builds tough mental discipline and a trained logical mind.