Mathematicians: Salary Overview
Mathematicians apply mathematical techniques to find solutions to real-world problems in business, engineering, and other fields.
Their role is to develop new mathematical rules and concepts in algebra and geometry, to solve problems using mathematical theories and techniques, and to develop mathematical models to analyze data.
Their job description varies depending on the industry in which they work.
Those who work for the government are responsible for developing and analyzing surveys regarding unemployment rates, wages, and other estimates about workers, jobs, and other data relevant to their area.
Mathematicians who work in research design experiments for product development or analyze consumer data.
Mathematicians may also work for colleges and universities where they study the theoretical and abstract aspects of mathematics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for mathematicians was $105,030 in May 2019 which means that half the workers in this profession earn less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries may vary depending on a wide range of factors, including the mathematician’s level of education and the industry of employment.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $58,100 while the top 10 percent made more than $162,060 per year.
Mathematician Salary by Industry
Mathematicians held approximately 2,900 jobs in the United States in 2018, according to BLS.
Most of them worked for the federal government or for colleges, universities, and professional schools.
Mathematicians who worked for the federal executive branch earned, on average, $112,810 per year.
The average annual wage was $124,100 for mathematicians who worked in the field of scientific research and development and $60,000 for those who worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools.
Mathematicians who worked for companies that provide management, scientific, and technical consulting services earned, on average, $120,340 a year.
The mean annual wage reported by mathematicians who worked for businesses that provide architectural, engineering, and related services was $106,470.
The highest annual wage was reported by mathematicians who worked for local governments.
In this field, the reported annual wage was $125,820 per year.
In conclusion, salaries for mathematicians vary widely depending upon the field of employment.
For example, mathematicians who worked for the federal executive branch earned, on average, twice as much as those who worked for colleges or universities.
Earnings are also dependent upon a number of other factors, such as experience and education.
As an entry-level mathematician, your salary will, most likely, be close to the minimum for this profession but your earnings will increase as you gain experience.
Holding a Ph.D. in mathematics and having the ability to apply the abstract mathematical thinking to formulate solutions to real business problems will make you very valuable to your employer and will help you earn a salary beyond the $100,000 mark.
Your communication skills and your ability to explain complex mathematical theories and to present your findings in a clear manner may also help you get a better-paying job.
If you’re passionate about mathematics and you want to turn this passion into a rewarding career, your job prospects are projected to be good in the future.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of mathematicians is projected to grow 26 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all professions.
However, because this is a small job, this growth will result in only 800 new jobs over the next decade.
Job openings are expected to occur especially in the business sector but also in scientific research.
Holding a Ph.D. and having a background in advanced mathematical techniques and mathematical modeling along with an ability to interpret data will give you an advantage over your competitors on the job market.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Mathematicians. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.