Earning a Master’s in Math Education Online
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Should I Pursue a Master's in Math Education Online?
Master's programs in math education attract students who are interested in math and passionate about teaching. Math education graduate programs prepare students for work as K-12 teachers, school administrators, curriculum specialists, and postsecondary professors. Graduates can find jobs in public schools, private schools, colleges, and universities.
Many aspiring teachers choose to earn their master's degree in math education online instead of on campus. Distance students often enjoy more flexibility than on-campus learners. Since many online programs allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule and from anywhere, online learning is ideal for students with full-time jobs or families. Additionally, online students often save money on housing, meal plans, and transportation. This guide covers information related to earning an accredited online math teaching degree, including common career paths, salary expectations, and course requirements.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Math Education Graduates
Master's in Math Education Salary
Several factors affect individual salaries and employment outlook for professionals with an online master's in math education. The tables below illustrate how location and experience level can influence pay expectations.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college-level mathematical science teachers earn higher salaries in certain states. Math professors in Washington, D.C. earn average annual salaries of more than $116,000, while teachers in New Jersey earn just under $98,000 per year. Teachers in both states earn considerably more than the national average for the occupation. Professional experience also impacts earning potential; according to PayScale, teachers with more than 20 years of experience earn average salaries nearly $20,000 higher than those of entry-level professionals.
Top-Paying States for Postsecondary Mathematical Science Teachers
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||180||$116,280|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Master's in Math Education Careers
Graduates can pursue a variety of career paths after earning a master's degree in math education online. These programs help students develop the mathematics, teaching, curriculum development, and classroom management abilities necessary for many education-related professions. Most professionals focus on teaching a specific age group; math education graduates can find teaching jobs in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges. They can also work as instructional coordinators, who plan curricula for entire school systems.
High School Teacher
Annual Median Salary: $59,170
Projected Growth Rate: 8%
High school teachers specialize in a particular subject, such as English, science, or math. They plan lessons, assess student progress, and ensure all students meet statewide and national expectations. Many public school systems require teachers to hold a graduate degree, such as a master of science in mathematics education.
Annual Median Salary: $76,000
Projected Growth Rate: 15%
Postsecondary teachers work in community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. They typically need a Ph.D., but some colleges require only a master's degree. These teachers prepare lectures, instruct students, and grade assignments. Additionally, they often conduct research and write academic papers in their discipline.
Annual Median Salary: $63,750
Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Instructional coordinators oversee curricula and teaching practices in schools and school systems. They develop curricula, observe teachers, and evaluate student test scores. Instructional coordinators also recommend curriculum improvements and new teaching strategies. Instructional coordinators, especially those planning to work in public schools, need a master's degree in education.
Department Chair (College/University)
Annual Median Salary: $92,360
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
These education professionals lead academic departments within colleges and universities. They oversee professors, instructors, and teaching assistants. They also develop department-wide goals and coordinate plans with university administrators. Department chairs need a graduate degree and significant experience in their academic field.
High School Equivalency Diploma Teacher
Annual Median Salary: $52,100
Projected Growth Rate: -5%
These professionals teach adults the basic skills they need to pass a high school equivalency exam, such as the GED. Teachers help learners study social studies, math, language arts, and science. They also develop students' communication, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills. Though a bachelor's is the minimum educational requirement for this position, some employers prefer to hire teachers with a master's degree.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statstics
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Math Education Program?
The following section covers common elements of online math teaching degree curricula. While program details vary between schools, the best master's degrees in math education online teach similar skills and concepts. Below are common graduate-level math education classes.
Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Math Education
Psychology and Child Development for Educators
This course introduces fundamental concepts of educational psychology and childhood development. Learners study human development theories that prepare them to teach children and adolescents. Students also explore the social, cognitive, and physical changes related to child development. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers can benefit from an understanding of child development theory.
Classroom Management and Motivation
All teachers need strong classroom management skills to create successful learning environments. Students in this course examine the qualities of effective classroom environments and learn about common rules and procedures. They also learn to promote self-management and self-discipline among students.
Algebra for Secondary Mathematics Teaching
Math teachers at all levels need knowledge of topics including algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability. This course explains basic algebraic concepts and introduces techniques for teaching algebra. Students learn to teach functions, variables, ratios, and rational numbers. They also study common misconceptions and mistakes.
Mathematics Learning and Teaching
This course introduces strategies and techniques for teaching math. Master's students learn to choose appropriate strategies and resources based on subject material and student ability. They also explore the basics of instructional planning.
Students earning a master's in math education online gain a variety of strategies to help students navigate math problems. Students in this course learn to explain problem-solving approaches, such as considering a simpler problem or guessing and checking. Students interested in teaching math at any level benefit from coursework in problem-solving techniques.
Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Math Education Prepares For
Teaching License: A master of science in teaching mathematics prepares candidates to earn teaching licensure or certification. All states require candidates to hold a bachelor's degree, and some states also require a master's degree. State licensing requirements vary, but they typically include supervised teaching experience, an adequate GPA, a clean background check, and a passing score on an exam.
School Administrator License: Teachers with a master's degree in education, administration, or leadership can qualify for school administrator certification. Certified school administrators can work as principals or superintendents. Each state sets unique licensing standards, but states typically require candidates to pass a background check and an exam.
Professional Organizations & Resources
Students, recent graduates, and early-career teachers should consider joining a professional organization. Professional associations offer valuable resources for professional development, networking, and career advancement. For example, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development hosts an annual conference during which members can learn about the latest educational approaches. Unions, such as the American Federation of Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers, advocate for the rights and benefits of public school educators.
American Federation of Teachers: Founded in 1916, the AFT represents 1.7 million members. Through political activism and collective bargaining, this union works to increase the quality of public education and public services.
Mathematical Association of America: The MAA brings together mathematicians, teachers, and students to advance the understanding of mathematics. Members can access a video library and MAA journals and magazines. They also receive discounts on meetings and conferences.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Founded in 1920, NCTM promotes quality mathematics education. The organization provides classroom resources, networking opportunities, a career center, and access to publications. Members can also learn about grants and other funding opportunities.
American Association of University Professors: Established in 1915, the AAUP serves professors by developing professional standards for higher education. The organization also promotes academic freedom. Members gain access to webinars, industry publications, and guidelines.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: ASCD brings together more than 100,000 teachers, principals, and school administrators from 127 countries. Members gain access to a job center, webinars, school supply discounts, books, and articles.
Wolfram|Alpha: This resource answers users' math problems. The site uses artificial intelligence, algorithms, and a knowledge bank to solve problems in fields including algebra, calculus, and geometry.
Common Core State Standards Initiative: The Common Core State Standards Initiative dictates math and English learning objectives for K-12 students each year. Through this website, teaching students can learn about math standards at various grade levels.
NCTM Classroom Resources: NCTM provides resources such as lessons and activities for math teachers. Teachers can download Core Math Tools, a suite of software for teaching algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and probability to high school students.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education: The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, an official publication of NCTM, includes articles related to mathematics teaching and learning. Aspiring teachers can read book reviews, research reports, and research commentaries.
American Educational Research Journal: The American Education Research Association publishes this journal with the goal of advancing the collective understanding of learning and education. The journal focuses on teaching methods and theory.
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