Mathematicians use mathematical theory, computational techniques, algorithms, and the latest computer technology to solve economic, scientific, engineering, physics, and business problems.


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Mathematicians use high-level mathematics and technology to develop new mathematical principles, understand relationships between existing principles, and solve real-world problems.


Mathematicians typically do the following:

  • Expand mathematical knowledge by developing new principles
  • Recognize previously unknown relationships between known mathematical principles
  • Create models to resolve practical problems in fields such as business, government, engineering, and the sciences
  • Develop computational methods and computer codes
  • Compare inferences derived from models with observations or experiments

The following are examples of types of mathematicians:

Applied mathematicians use theories and techniques, such as mathematical modeling, to solve practical problems. For example, they may analyze the effectiveness of new drugs or the aerodynamic characteristics of new automobiles.  

Theoretical mathematicians identify unexplained issues and seek to resolve them. Although they often strive to increase basic knowledge without considering its practical use, the knowledge they develop has been an important part of many scientific and engineering achievements.


Educational Requirements

A graduate degree in mathematics is the most common educational requirement for mathematicians. However, there are positions for those whose highest level of education is a bachelor’s degree.

For jobs as a mathematician with the federal government, candidates need at least a bachelor's degree with a major in mathematics or significant coursework in mathematics. Also, holders of bachelor's degrees who meet state certification requirements may become middle or high school mathematics teachers. Candidates who have a double major in mathematics and a related discipline are particularly desirable to many employers.


Median Salary 2012



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Mathematical Association of America

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Mathematical and Statistical Modeling LinkedIn Group

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