Math professors work in colleges and universities teaching math. They may teach anywhere from one to five classes per semester, depending on the structure of the teaching institute for which they work. They hold office hours between classes to help students with questions. Some are also advisors for students who are working towards a master's or doctorate degree. Math professors also do research. Those who work at two- or four-year colleges do less research, but more teaching.
Math professors usually have flexible hours.
The middle 50 percent of professors earn between $33,400 and $71,360 per year. Earnings vary according to type of institution, geographic area and field. Those in four-year schools earn higher salaries, on the average, than those in two-year schools. Those who work for public schools, on the average, earn less than those who work for private schools. Most faculty members have significant earnings in addition to their base salary, from consulting, teaching additional courses, researching, writing for publication, or other employment.
Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study
Professors should have inquiring and analytical minds and a strong desire to pursue and pass on knowledge. They must be able to communicate clearly and logically, both orally and in writing. They need to be able to establish a rapport with, and be a role model to students. Courses of study should include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus and statistics.
Related occupations include secondary school teachers, librarians, writers and consultants.
Education & Training
In two-year colleges, master's degree holders fill most full-time positions. In four-year colleges, doctorate holders fill most full-time positions.
Employment of professors is expected to increase faster than average for all occupations, however, applicants can expect keen competition for full-time positions. Despite expected growth, many institutions will increasingly favor the hiring of adjunct, or temporary, professors over hiring full-time, permanent professors.
Sources for Additional Information
Mathematical Association of America
1529 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
American Mathematical Society
Department of Professional Programs and Services
P.O. Box 6248
Providence, RI 02940-6248