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Become A Mathematics Instructor

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Working As A Mathematics Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Make Decisions

  • $60,024

    Average Salary

What Does A Mathematics Instructor Do

Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.

Duties

Postsecondary teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
  • Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
  • Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
  • Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
  • Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department

Postsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors or faculty, specialize in a variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.

At colleges and universities, professors are organized into departments that specialize in a subject, such as history, science, business, or music. A professor may teach one or more courses within that department. For example, a mathematics professor may teach calculus, statistics, and a graduate seminar in a very specific area of mathematics.

Postsecondary teachers’ duties vary with their positions in a university or college. In large colleges or universities, they may spend their time teaching, conducting research or experiments, applying for grants to fund their research, or supervising graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Postsecondary teachers who work in small colleges and universities or in community colleges often spend more time teaching classes and working with students. They may spend some time conducting research, but they do not have as much time to devote to it.

Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure (a professor who cannot be fired without just cause), often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees.

Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.

Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (often with the help of graduate teaching assistants), smaller classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are going to postsecondary schools.

Professors need to keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. A tenured professor must do original research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings.

Some postsecondary teachers work for online universities or teach online classes. They use websites to present lessons and information, to assign and accept students’ work, and to participate in course discussions. Online professors communicate with students by email and by phone and might never meet their students in person.

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How To Become A Mathematics Instructor

Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.

Education

Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.

Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.

Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.

Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.

Other Experience

Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.

In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.

In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.

Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.

Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.

Advancement

A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.

Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.

Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.

Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.

Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.

Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.

Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.

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Average Length of Employment
Math Professor 4.1 years
Math Teacher 3.9 years
Instructor 2.8 years
Reading Instructor 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Mathematics Instructor
Math Teacher 17.6%
Math Tutor 9.9%
Instructor 8.7%
Teacher 7.3%
Tutor 5.4%
Internship 4.8%
Volunteer 2.5%
Top Careers After Mathematics Instructor
Math Teacher 16.3%
Instructor 10.5%
Math Tutor 8.4%
Teacher 7.5%
Tutor 4.0%
Principal 3.3%
Coach 2.7%
Internship 2.6%

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Mathematics Instructor Demographics

Gender

Male

52.7%

Female

43.9%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

57.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Asian

11.9%

Black or African American

11.9%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.0%

French

11.9%

Chinese

6.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Russian

4.7%

Hindi

3.4%

Korean

3.4%

Italian

2.8%

Japanese

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%

German

2.5%

Cantonese

2.2%

Portuguese

2.2%

Turkish

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Hebrew

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Marathi

0.6%

Samoan

0.6%

Gujarati

0.6%
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Mathematics Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.9%

Walden University

7.8%

Wayne State University

5.7%

Nova Southeastern University

5.7%

Georgia State University

5.4%

University of Texas at Austin

5.4%

Florida State University

5.2%

University of Houston

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.7%

University of West Florida

4.7%

Grand Canyon University

4.7%

San Diego State University

4.4%

Northern Illinois University

4.4%

University of Alabama

4.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.1%

University of Florida

4.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.6%

Texas State University

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%
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Majors

Mathematics

30.7%

Education

9.5%

Business

7.1%

Educational Leadership

6.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

6.6%

Elementary Education

6.6%

Statistics

4.7%

Curriculum And Instruction

3.5%

Physics

3.4%

Computer Science

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Finance

2.1%

Secondary Education And Teaching

2.0%

Special Education

2.0%

Economics

1.8%

Chemistry

1.6%

Accounting

1.6%

Educational Technology

1.4%

Mathematics And Computer Science

1.4%
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Degrees

Masters

46.7%

Bachelors

25.7%

Other

12.3%

Doctorate

9.8%

Certificate

3.5%

Associate

1.5%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.2%
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Mathematics Instructor Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Trainee PE Teacher by Andrea C (Full Version)

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Part Time
Internship
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Real Mathematics Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Instructor of Mathematics Polytechnic Institute of New York University New York, NY Jun 01, 2013 $68,233
Mathematics Instructor Herguan University Sunnyvale, CA Jan 29, 2015 $68,000
Instructor of Mathematics Whitman College Walla Walla, WA Jan 08, 2016 $67,000
Secondary School Mathematics Instructor EF International Academy, Inc. Tarrytown, NY Aug 21, 2014 $65,949
Mathematics Instructor Board of Regents, Nevada SYS of Higher Edu, Great Basin College Winnemucca, NV Dec 15, 2016 $65,724
High School Math Instructor CBSJ LLC (Mathnasium) Glendale, CA Nov 16, 2016 $64,570
Mathematics Instructor Board of Regents, Nevada SYS of Higher Edu, Great Basin College Elko, NV Jan 13, 2016 $64,435
Instructor/Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Everglades College Inc. Lakeland, FL Oct 01, 2014 $61,800
Instructor-Mathematics W.M. Rice University Houston, TX Aug 18, 2014 $60,700
Visiting Instructor In Mathematics University of Notre Dame Du Lac Notre Dame, IN Aug 22, 2016 $60,000
Visiting Instructor In Mathematics University of Notre Dame Du Lac Notre Dame, IN May 27, 2015 $60,000
Mathematics Instructor Board of Regents, Nevada SYS of Higher Edu, Great Elko, NV Aug 13, 2014 $58,831
Mathematics Instructor North Greenville University Tigerville, SC Jul 31, 2014 $58,635
Mathematics Instructor North Greenville University Tigerville, SC Jul 31, 2014 $58,600
Instructor, Mathematics Rowan University Glassboro, NJ Sep 28, 2015 $51,161
Instructor, Mathematics & Statistics Minnesota State University Mankato Mankato, MN Aug 19, 2014 $51,059
Instructor, Mathematics & Statistics Minnesota State University Mankato Mankato, MN Aug 18, 2014 $51,059
Instructor, Mathematics & Statistics Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Mankato, MN Aug 17, 2015 $50,984
Instructor, Mathematics Seattle University Seattle, WA Jul 01, 2015 $50,875
Mathematics Instructor American University Washington, DC Jan 06, 2016 $50,350
Math Instructor Chama Valley Independent Schools #19 Tierra Amarilla, NM Jul 14, 2014 $50,000
Instructor, Mathematics & Statistics Minnesota State University Mankato Mankato, MN Aug 19, 2014 $44,297
Science/Math Instructor Wasatch Academy Mount Pleasant, UT Sep 21, 2015 $44,000 -
$58,000
Visiting Instructor-Mathematics Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI Aug 01, 2013 $43,970
Visiting Instructor-Mathematics Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI Aug 05, 2013 $43,970
Afterschool Math Instructor The Russian School of Mathematics, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 31, 2015 $42,770
Afterschool Math Instructor The Russian School of Mathematics, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 15, 2015 $42,770
Afterschool Math Instructor The Russian School of Mathematics, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 13, 2015 $42,770

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Top Skills for A Mathematics Instructor

  1. Algebra
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Mathematics
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Revised, wrote the questions and answer keys intermediate algebra final exam for on campus classes.
  • Attend professional development training for Cambridge curriculum, AVID strategies, differentiated instruction and classroom management.
  • Review library holdings related to mathematics and make recommendation for addition or deletion of library holdings.
  • Lectured Fundamentals of Math, Pre-Algebra, Technical Mathematics, Beginning/Intermediate/College Algebra.
  • Developed the first Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus I tutorial manual for the program.

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Top 10 Best States for Mathematics Instructors

  1. Alaska
  2. Idaho
  3. New York
  4. Iowa
  5. Michigan
  6. California
  7. Oregon
  8. Rhode Island
  9. New Jersey
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (23 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (266 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (614 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (184 jobs)
  • (218 jobs)

Top Mathematics Instructor Employers

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Jobs From Top Mathematics Instructor Employers

Mathematics Instructor Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Trainee PE Teacher by Andrea C (Full Version)

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