A career as a mathematician can be financially rewarding. Mathematicians use mathematics to create models and solve business problems across all industries, in private companies and in government. Mathematicians work as actuaries, computer scientists, economists, statisticians, engineers, financial analysts and teachers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for mathematicians overall was $103,310 in 2013. The job growth for mathematicians overall between 2012 and 2022 is projected to be much faster than average, at 23 percent.
According to Business Insider and CareerCast.com, the best job in America is the job of an actuary. Actuaries are mathematicians who analyze the financial consequences of different types of risk and recommend actions to respond to those risks. For example, actuaries predict the amount of car insurance claims an insurance company might receive -- the risk -- and help determine how much the insurance company should charge to offset that risk and make a profit. The average pay for actuaries in 2013, according to the BLS, was $107,740, with an estimated 26 percent job growth between 2012 and 2022.
Statisticians are mathematicians who work on teams to collect data, analyze the data, draw conclusions and recommend actions. When you shop online and the website recommends products to you based on what other consumers have purchased, it's likely that a statistician was involved in creating that model. The BLS reports that statisticians had average pay of $83,310 in 2013, and that the job growth for the career is much faster than average, at 27 percent.
Operations Research Analysts
Some mathematicians choose a career in operations research. They analyze business problems, collect data, create models and present the pros and cons of different solutions to the problems. For example, operations research analysts help shipping companies determine the best way to route a package that gets the package to its destination on time and maximizes the company's profitability. The 2013 average pay for operations research analysts was $81,660, according to the BLS. The job growth for OR analysts is also much faster than average, at 27 percent.
Many economists are mathematicians who use calculus, game theory and regression analysis to develop mathematical models that identify and explain trends. They work with companies to help maximize sales by predicting consumer demand for products. Average pay for economists overall in 2013 was $101,450 per year, according to the BLS. The demand for economists between 2012 and 2022 is expected to be as fast as the average job growth overall, at 14 percent.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Mathematicians
- Business Insider: I'm an Actuary and I Have the Best Job in America
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Actuaries
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Statisticians
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Operations Research Analysits
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Economists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Math Occupations
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages -- May 2013
- Photo Credit Yukchong Kwan/Hemera/Getty Images
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